16.01.2019

5 reasons why it’s worth to analyze your data and 8 tricks how data analytics tools could improve your business

In the everyday rush, in constant pressure of time, deadlines, VAT-7 statements and ZUS DRA/RCA/RSA declarations it’s easy to fall into a routine and to get trapped in a treadmill mode...

16.01.2019, added by Magda Zawora, Tech Leaders

In the everyday rush, in constant pressure of time, deadlines, VAT-7 statements and ZUS DRA/RCA/RSA declarations it’s easy to fall into a routine and to get trapped in a treadmill mode. And in the effect to lose concentration on broaden perspective, strategy or far-reaching plans. One day it may occur that the most important factor which influences on your business are old patterns, outdated procedures or office commitments.

It’s possible, right?

How about the second scenario? You start or continue doing the business with absolute certainty that choices that you make bring you closer to your goals in the most effective and optimum way. Actually, if you do not revise your strategy using current data, it may occur that your decisions are biased by wishful thinking, assumptions or standards which do not fit to your business or at least do not bring to it expected value.

The solution is to make use of business data. Start collecting the data and try to understand them with open-mind and curiosity. In other words, take yourself for data analytics. Why? Because thanks to this process you’ll convert datasets into useful information. Let me help you a bit with the motivation.     


5 REASONS WHY IT'S WORTH TO SPEND SOME TIME ON DATA ANALYTICS

1.    You will become more conscious about your business, understand it better and get deeper knowledge. And, what is not to overestimate, thanks to objective information and the new perspective you’ll get the opportunity to identify crucial factors of your potential success like sources of income and loss. Without any bias.

2.    This knowledge will help you improve your business. You’ll get a basis to decide from which market or product to quit or in which 
invest or which of them to develop.

3.    Thanks to the basic time series analysis you can see trends and effects of the implementation of your strategies. This 
in turn can help you to predict what could happen in the future, so as you could be better prepared to take advantage from opportunities or at least to avoid risk and loss.

4.    If you understand your business well, it’s much easier to explain it to other people. Whether you need to elaborate your pitching elevator or present your results to the broad audience, smart use of historical and current datasets is priceless.  

5.    Well built presentation with convincing narration and clear visualization could be a key factor to persuade 
decision makers to award you with external money (if you are interested).

So I hope I convinced you a bit to put some effort to familiarize with basics of data analytics. Sounds complicated, but actually it’s not. Even if you don’t have time or ambition to learn the process from scratch to advanced level, it could be really plain thanks to popular platforms dedicated to business intelligence and data visualization like Tableau and QlikView or, on the next level of initiation, Sisense, Zoho Analytics, and many others.

These platforms approach is to give everyone the opportunity to explore data and to gain insight from them. The idea is also called “democratizing data” so as to enable them to become “universally accessible”. Pretty nice, right?


Let me put you a bit in the picture.

8 FEATURES OF DATA ANALYTICS TOOLS THAT COULD HELP YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS

1.    You don’t need programming skills. Good news - you could even be unfamiliar with spreadsheets.

2.    The tools prevent you from making common mistakes relating to visualization. For example, taking into account type of the data and on the basis what you are going to communicate, they give you tips and hints what kind chart you should use to show results in a proper and most clear way.

3.    One extra point for Tableau. Use of the tool is easy and intuitive. Actually, if you had some spare time, it could be even enjoyable. But if such 
miracle does not happen, it’s still good to hear that the entry barrier is very low (if any).

4.    The tools enable to pull and merge records from different kind of sources like databases, spreadsheets and 
csv (depending in which format or technology you store or acquire your datasets).

5.    You can use the Personal Edition of QlikView, Free Plan (for 2 users) of Zoho Analytics and Tableau Public for free. Sisense offers test 
driven on your own data. As for Tableau, if for some reasons free model is not sufficient for your business (e.g. because you have sensitive data or you just don’t want them to be viewed in public) the fee for full functionality is 70 USD per user monthly. Zoho Analytics standard version costs 45 USD per month. QlikView and Sisense customize their offers so prices are determined by datasets size and clients needs.

6.    Apart from single 
graphs, it’s often valuable to visualize your findings with dashboards or stories. This kind of presentation will enable you to build logical and persuasive narration. No matter which tool, if only gives easy and intuitive way to prepare dashboards and stories, I really recommend you to try!

7.    Tools help you also to communicate your findings in a clear way. It has 
a great impact on passing your conclusions and on receiving it by the audience in compliance with your intentions.

8.    You don’t need advanced analytical skills, just common sense, 
and knowledge about your data and business. In presented tools, for data analytics, lots of work is going behind the scenes (e.g. identification of data types). Right mindset and simple functions like calculations or correlations are enough to let you understand basic causality and relations within your dataset and in result help you to draw meaningful conclusions.


SUMMARY

Just to cut the long story short. To get profit from data I recommend you to take the following steps:

1.    Collect your data, adjust technology of storage according to your needs.

2.    Make usage of your data. Follow on a basis of truth, not assumptions. Make data-driven decisions.

3.    Try to use some tools for data analytics, pick the most convenient for you and familiarize with its basic functionalities.

4.    Make habit of analyzing your datasets on regular basis. Put some effort to understand them and elaborate your own approach to
get relevant findings and conclusions.

5.    Learn the basics of data visualization. Try to use it to communicate the results of your survey to your team and to start a discussion about the findings. See the difference.

6.    Be curious and enjoy improving your business!

Photos source: www.pexels.com

List of recommendations:
https://financesonline.com/data-visualization/
https://medium.com/unboxing-product-management/why-you-should-consider-looking-into-analytics-36d1e1b845db
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UjmUCdrJeU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

QlikView
https://www.qlik.com/us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqILcEwlHSI

Tableau
https://www.tableau.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkJwcyI_1vc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM1XBiVLS5c&t=838s

Sisense
https://www.sisense.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYDJTlXaU64

Zoho Analystics
https://www.zoho.com/analytics/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR1wGvx8pGw


 

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