Good Analyst, Bad Analyst

Businesses invest big dollars in data. They build a data warehouse, use the latest databases, hire data scientists and develop data collecting capabilities and visualization tools. Yet decision-makers still find it hard to get the right data at the right time. Open questions, unresolved issues and a generally fuzzy outcome is all too common. Most organizations have yet to consistently deliver relevant data to the right person at the right time.

Why is this Happening?

Most analysts today use substandard tools that place too many barriers between the analyst and necessary data. Analysts are undermined when data is sampled, or aggregated, or when capabilities are limited in other ways. Conclusions are rigid and limited, in turn, to the analysis the analyst can run. Limited insights then reflect negatively on actionability (emails, push notifications, etc.) and the bottom line.

Analysts should have the power to “play” with data, change the analysis and easily structure reports and dashboards. They must be able to unify data from several sources.

Understand the Business

Analysts aren’t just number crunches, but they are often distracted by how data is structured and what its limitations are, rather than focusing on the actual business challenges. Data systems are flooded nowadays because data is so easy and inexpensive to collect. But the only data that really needs to be collected is data related to business values: acquisition, activation, retention, referral, loyalty, conversion and revenue.

So How Can You Improve Analysis?

Deliver the insights! Analysts must be proactive. The existence of a report doesn’t mean folks are reading it. Data, like mail, must be delivered. The onus of delivering insights is on the analysts – you are both the author and the messenger. Tools like Metric Insights help in delivering data via alerts, but that data must ultimately be accessible in the organizational space at any time and if the analyst doesn’t make colleagues constantly aware of it, nobody else will.

Make the Data Relevant

Data analysis involves so many variables and complexities, that often it ends up being irrelevant to the recipient of a specific report. Start a report with the bottom line, like: “Retention rates improved by 3.2%,” or “social traffic was 1.2 times better than paid traffic.” Only after the conclusion is presented in a compelling way, can you dive deeper insights and explain the full picture. Don’t bombard your readers with data, because they will get lost together with your analysis and everybody’s business value.

Make sure to work with a platform that does not restrict you to data aggregations or samples. Relevant, accurate analysis is a result of an open and flexible platform. Work with a platform that enables querying any data you collect, whether it be unified or a stand-alone data source.

Deliver it to the Right Person

As Hans Rosling once said, “Let the data set change your mindset.” A company’s CEO and Head of Marketing will care about different insights. And the marketing, or media team will need a deeper level of analysis than management. It is important to understand who reads the analysis and what kind of decisions they take. Keep in mind that different levels of analysis are relevant to different people in an organization. Make sure you deliver the right data to the right person so that the data set changes their mindset.

Or… Spend your afternoon futzing around with Rosling’s amazing Public Data project. Not that we’ve ever done that ourselves…

Benefit from Unified Data

Context is critical to a business analyst. Data is generally stored in different databases and not conveniently located in one place. Make sure you unify data from external and internal sources to get the full context. Inspect all of your data as one unit to provide comprehensive business insights.

Timing is Everything

Context and timing are everything! A report submitted after a decision already took place is a waste of everybody’s time. Make sure you understand what the business challenges are before diving into the data. Lead the discussion by presenting relevant insights. Alert business owners both on a regular basis and once you identify changes in trends.

How Can We Help?

CoolaData is a unified behavioral analysis platform. We empower analysts to deliver the right data to the right person at the right time. Behavioral analysis is a game-changer and we use it to gain deeper insights into users behavior. Analyze what they do and how they do it through our unique behavioral data service. Contact CoolaData today.

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