So when I first started pitching the Introduction to Analytics seminar to prospective training candidates, I need to come up with a good analogy about what analytics is and what an analyst does. At the time I was doing most of these informational interviews at various Starbucks across Manila. So I started using this analogy.
Pretend for a minute that you are an analyst working for Starbucks. You work in he corporate office with a team of analysts. One day your manager comes to you and tells you they have a special project they need done right away. They need to know the Top 10 Starbucks locations in all of Metro Manila. So there are hundreds of Starbucks out there so the first thing to do is find a list of them. Then you need to find there sales data. You dump that into excel and you sort it by sales and you find the top ten stores. Pretty easy.
But what happens next is where a good analysts comes in. Your boss is going to want to know why they are top ten even if they didn’t ask for it. So you need to determine what these stores have in common. What is their secret to success? So you need more data. You go out and find the location, the size, how old the store is and any other datapoints you think might be relevant. You pull all that data into your analysis. And the you look for patterns. What do they have in common? Are there things they have that a lot of others do not.
Say for this exmaple you find that all ten of them are located on the ground floor of near the entrance a big mall. That makes sense… its a high traffic area and people have spending money on their mind.
So know when you report your findings to your manager you can give them the list and some some analysis to go with it, That is what a good analyst does… adds value to a business by providing management through there analysis that leads to data-driven decision making.
So that has becom my elevator sales pitch on analytics and what an analysts does.