How I Use Logic As An Analyst

Here is a follow up to the student I am helping with her class assignment on Logic… She asked me how I apply logic as an analyst with an example and here is what I came up with.

How I Use Logic As An Analyst

According to Webster’s Dictionary, logic is “the science or art of exact reasoning” and analyst is “someone who is skilled at analyzing data”. The two definitions are where I start when how I think back to the application of logic during my career as an analyst.

To solve business problems you need data. You need to identify the right data, analyze it and communicate your results. In all three aspects of analysis work you need to employ logic.

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

When you are given a business problem to solve, say how to determine a market for a new project or trying to figure the cause behind a slowdown in production, you need to start with data. What data you get, how you get it and where you get it from is all driven by a combination of your business experience and logic.

Logic helps you eliminate data that useful to the problem at hand. One time when I was looking for data on current remittance flows to China, a logic driven approach would be to start looking at Chinese economic websites. Which I did using the science of logic.

Once I got some data sources on remittances from the US to China, I then used logic in my analysis. Is the data current? Is the source reliable? Is it relevant? Logic dictated that I not use sources that were more than a year old, where not from government sources and where directly providing data on remittances to China.

In my analysis I saw several patterns, most remittances where going to only two provinces. That is logical when you research to see that most immigrants to the US come from these two provinces.

And when I was ready to communicate my results, my choice on which application to use, what tone to use in my language and what visuals to use were all driven by my knowledge of the audience.

Since this was for a senior manager, well-versed in remittance patterns and very comfortable with big data speak, I just cut and past some charts from Excel into an e-mail and gave him 2-3 bullet points about the patterns I saw and noted my source. It was logical that he didn’t need a lot of explanation or easy to see analysis given his pedigree.

If this had been for a more general audience of say fresh grads who have never looked at this kind of data before, it would be logical to use PowerPoint, supply several descriptive notations and some easy to digest visuals that show remittance trends.

Trying to provide students with a report designed for senior managers is illogical for someone like myself with a lot of business analysis experience.

In the end, it is my opinion that few career paths call for a more consistent application of logic then does that of an analyst.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

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Analytics > Based on the Principles of Logic

One of my trainees recently asked me for some help with an assignment she had in her philosophy class. Now I am such a Star Trek fan aka Trekie, that of course the first thing that comes to mind in the character Spock.

I imagine that is anyone ever took a formal survey of analysts and analytics professionals, most would list Spock high on their list of “cool characters.” The use of logic to solve problems is a key plot point in several episodes and movies. Anyway, I digress…

The assignment is to look at the paperwork in a business and determine how logic and logical principles are applied. I look at logic as being used primarily in two different facets of paperwork.

1. to set priorities… using deductive reasoning to decide what priority is more important and which one to work on first. This is something that is hard to teach and a common interview question. Trying to determine if a person knows how to establish priorities tells you a lot about how logical they think.

2. to establish procedures… logic is used to set up a process like an assembly line or a pipeline where things are done in a routine that is most logical. Being efficient and optimizing a process require a lot of logic in the design and implantation of the process.

So for paperwork… the paperwork that gets done first is the highest priority like payroll… logic dictates that paying employees is the most important and logic helps you set up a process for paperwork… like if a form needs three signatures, you would use logic to set the order of whose signature you get first, second and third

When you have a problem with a process or too many priorities to accomplish all, you use logic to help you solve the problem.

Analytics, or the discipline of using data to drive decision-making in a business, is closely related. Logic is used to identify the data you need, logic is required to interpret the analysis and logic is needed to determine how bet to communicate your findings.

When you look at any business (or government, organization, structure, etc.), you need to employ logic to make that business run and paperwork is a big, big part of the resulting of using logic. Forms, reports, summaries, etc… they are all receptacles of logic that are used to keep things moving.

So when asked why I do what I do when it comes to the paperwork in my business, I am going to tell you because its logical to do it that way. Or as Spock might say, “Logic dictates how and why we use paperwork.”

General Analytics – Analytics is the application of using data and analysis to discover patterns in data. DMAIPH specializes in empowering and enabling leaders, managers, professionals and students with a mastery of analytics fundamentals. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you acquire the analytics mastery you and your organization need to be successful in today’s data-driven global marketplace.

DMAI – The Strategic Plan

Sometime I get asked the question, what is my strategic plan for DMAI. My answer is simple, “to be THE name brand when it comes to analytics in the Philippines.” Of course the next question is always, how will you get there?

Well, that is a little more complex. DMAI offers a variety of analytics solutions that all feed into our vision of being the top of the analytics pyramid. They include:

1. Partnering with countries abroad to provide analytics services to international clients.
2. Providing analytics solutions to companies located here in the Philippines.
3. Offering our expertise by coaching to executives and managers.
4. Conducting analytics trainings for companies and professionals located in the Philippines.
5. Empowering Filipino students and young professionals with the skills needed for careers in analytics.

So that’s a lot. How are we doing so far?

Let’s look at the data… I so love data!

Since May 2012:
> Directly trained over 70 fresh grads from almost two dozen schools.
> Trained over 50 Business Owners, SMEs, HR and Recruiting Professionals.
> Provided on site training and consulting for three small BPO companies.
> Completed over ten analytics projects for small businesses in the US and the Philippines.
> Made over a dozen media appearances on TV, Radio and the Internet.
> Set up analytics outsourcing agreements with five different companies based in the US and India.
> Spoke publicly at seven different schools here in the Philippines.
> Been a featured speaker at four different public seminars.
> Crafted over 150 blog posts.
> And am so close to finishing my first book.

We still have a long way to go, but DMAI is well on its way to achieving our goal!

dmai clients

Revisiting the “Services Shift”

The world is currently witnessing a fundamental reorganization in the way services are delivered to customers. This is what is behind the movement to outsource. It’s a lot more than just saving money by shipping jobs overseas. Harvard Business Professor Robert E. Kennedy, call this the “Services Shift”. The globalization of services, in which different tasks are being carried out by different individuals in different locations, is about gaining access to the best combination of talent, resources and markets.

I bring this up because I recently blogged about Medical Transcription work being done in the Philippines. I came across a blog sharing some of the opportunities for nursing graduates in the Philippines to consider a career as an MT for a BPO company. The blog was not the most well written one, but it captured the sense of optimism for those looking for work in a way that perhaps before they had not considered. That really appealed to me so I used it in my blog.

I expected to get some negative reaction, because MT work is one of the areas of employment in the US that has been significantly impacted by the outsourcing of work overseas. MT work is not easy, and those that do it wherever they are employed requires a lot of skill, training and diligence. I see that with the team I’ve been working here in the Philippines. However, in my efforts to share that good story, I ended up also upsetting some hard-working Americans who have seen MT opportunities go abroad. And that made me think of this book the “Services Shift”.

Kennedy quotes several factors that are at play when industries are “outsourced”, they are:
* Technological Innovations like easy access to the internet and stored data.
* Emerging Market Growth in traditionally closed markets
* Global Macroeconomic Liberalization of government polices toward trade
* The Corporate Imperative to both reduce costs and improve quality
* The Convergence of a Global Business Culture based on the English language and American business models.

Given these factors, its easy to see how countries like India and the Philippines have taken advantage of situation and offered MT services as an outsourcing option. To that end I am working with a Philippines based company that is offering it MT and Coding services to companies in the U.S. I have made the choice to build my business on being part of the “Services Shift” and I am looking for like-minded people who see the opportunity to collaborate and find ways to take advantage of their experience and use it in a global partnership.

Doing What I Do Best!

Yesterday, I had the privilege to do what I do best… talk to about analytics. Its been a few months since I was in front of an audience interested in hearing me speak about my career and share with them my passion for using data to drive decision-making. Thanks to one of my key business partners, PMCM Events Management, I was one of several speakers who spent the day with IT students from St. Scholastica College in Manila.

I got to share the stage with my good friends and frequent collaborators Khoa Bui and Raffy Pekson, made some new friends with Leila and Paolo and even got to be up there with one of my idols Janette Toral. It was truly a special day for me as I felt so happy to be back in a place where I can actually do something to make the world a little better place. By giving the St. Scho students some guidance and direction I know we were able to help many of them discover new career possibilities and open their minds to new ways of looking at their future.

For my part, I just had about 40 minutes to give a simple Introduction to Analytics. I went over briefly the concept of analytics, talked about what analysts do and gave a few examples of current trends in analytics. It’s just the tip of the iceberg so to say, but I am sure I inspired a few students to share the dreams I have… about data!!! Haha!1230045_327373597408090_1366603456_n

Just Do It… the best motto ever!!!!

From My recent Facebook status update “10 Days…. Two Hotels, Five Malls, Seven Business Proposals, Three Worship Services (including one in Tagalog), Added Two More Speaking Engagements, Interviewed Five, In the middle of two data projects, Kicked off a two month social media project, Blogged Everyday, Added 100’s of LinkedIn Connections, and I’m Just Getting Started!”

You see a lot of inspirational quotes out there, as people try and find the energy to get up everyday and go about their lives. Personally, the Nike one is the best ever. Its so simple, but so powerful. It is equal parts inspiration, motivation and achievement.

Why? Because its the key to success. All of the strategies, self-help books, business plans, meetings with experts, etc… none of them mean as much as just getting out there and doing things!!!!

If anyone were to ever ask me what is the secret to my drive? What’s behind my passion? That’s the answer… Just Do It!

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Social Media Analytics… It’s not just a marketing tool

Most people I talk too think of Social Media Analytics in terms of a marketing tool. How many Likes, Shares, Follows, etc are my posts getting. Some take it a bit further to look at engagement factors as well. And a very few use it to measure the Return On Investment when it comes to the cost benefits of doing social media marketing.

All of the big social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. have built in Analytics tools to help businesses see the impact of their social media efforts in theses terms.

But who is using social media to listen to their customers? Again many have someone responsible for monitoring sites to address customer complaints. Some have teams that do this 24/7 and try to spin every negative post into a positive. And a few actually are proactive in engaging customers via social media by anticipating needs.

And who is using social media to keep track of their competitors? Again some do follow them. And a few actually track competitor behavior and use their findings in setting strategy.

And only a few layer their social media Analytics on top of demographics. LinkedIn and Facebook have built in demographics right there with their Analytics available to users.

So I guess the question is are you getting the most out of social media?

DMAI 2.0 > Recruiting the top analytical minds in the Philippines

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DMAI aka Decision-Making, Analytics & Intelligence, is a Philippines based company offering cutting edge of analytics solutions for both domestic and international clients.

DMAI is launching several initiatives and are looking for top analytical talent to join of rapidly growing team. Everyone on the DMAI team should have a natural curiosity and willing to take the initiative.

In addition, we look for the several general requirements across all positions. They include:
• Above Average English
• Strong Internet Research Skills
• A Positive Attitude
• A Willingness to go Above and Beyond

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:
1. Data Analyst
2. Analytics Project Manager
3. Administrative Assistant
4. Social Media Analyst

The Data Analyst position requires above average experience with MS Excel. Analysts should be very comfortable with pivot tables, using charts & graphs, and managing 100,000+ rows of data. Analysts also need to have experience taking data and analysis and building PowerPoint decks that give client actionable insights and recommendations. Experience with joining data sources and writing queries using SQL is also a must.

The Analytics Project Manager position requires excellent MS Excel and PowerPoint skills. The PM also needs to have a background with analytics. This position is expected to already have extensive PM experience and be well versed in Project Management methodology and comfortable managing projects with stakeholder located in different countries. Excellent English and Communication skills are a must.

The Administrative Assistant position requires previous experience with recruiting and with general office administration. The AA will support the DMAI Executive team and travel to various meetings and events to provide administrative support to training and speaking engagement event. The AA should also have some experience with HR functions like payroll, SSS and benefits. Excellent English and the ability to multitask on the go are must have skills.

The Social Media Analyst position requires a special person who is equal parts blogger/social media power user/seo analyst. Experience managing social media sites and pages is required. The SMA must have outstanding written English skills and able to write engaging content. The SMA must also have a passion for analytics and be a user of social media analytics tools.

Currently we are only looking for candidates located in Metro Manila, but may consider candidates living in the provinces in the near future.
To express your interest in any of the open positions, please send your most up to date resume to analytics@dmaiph.com

This is cutting edge analytics for support of clients abroad and you will get the chance to work with me, one of the leading analytics minds in the Philippines. If you are interested in learning more, please let me know immediately as we hope to have the team in place within a month or so.

We offer very competitive compensation based on experience and have a lucrative bonus plan as well.

To learn more about DMAI, follow us at any of the social media sites listed below:
> Facebook >>> https://www.facebook.com/dmaiph
> YouTube >>> http://youtu.be/blx8IuHsmCA
> LinkedIn >>> http://ph.linkedin.com/pub/dan-meyer/4/771/675
> WordPress >>> https://dmaiph.wordpress.com/
>Twitter >>> https://twitter.com/BPOElite1

Thanks for your consideration. Please send me your most updated resume if you would like to be part of this amazing team.
Sincerely,

Dan Meyer
President & Founder
DMAI

An Inside Look At Analytics In Action > U.S. Census Data

US CensusIf you are working with American clients or customers, one of the most useful tools any analyst can master is the U.S. Census Data. http://www.census.gov

It is #1 source for current population data and the latest Economic Indicators and is culled from the nationwide census conducted in the US every ten years. The last collection was in 2010. However, the US Census Bureau also collects data from smaller sample sizes every year.

When I was with Wells Fargo, I used census data extensively to help us understand the demographics of targeted markets. I have also used data from the site for building competitive profiles for BPO Elite and DMAI clients.

When you go to the site (www.census.gov), it can be a little overwhelming due to the massive amount of data collected and made available. There are some videos, webinars, in class trainings and lots of learning tools available to master how to make the best use of the data.

For now though, lets focus on one particular demographic data point that I will explain how to find and use. I have a client who wants to know % of households in certain Zip Codes around the Dallas, Texas are that have at least one person over 65-year-old in that household.

Step One is knowing where to go. In this case, we will choose the data menu and then American Fact Finder. As you can see if you view the site… the choices can be quite intimidating to those not used to this site. Type in Dallas County, Texas and you will get access to all kinds of demographic data. In this case we will look at the 2010 US Census. You can see that 8.8% of the population is 65 and over.

For the sake of this blog I wont bore you with details, but then we take that data and we look at it at the zip code level. And then we can see what parts of Dallas County are “older” than others. This will help out client target his marketing efforts since his product is geared towards customers 65+

So if you have a business where you need demographic data for the US, this is the place to go. DMAI is happy to help you find ways to unlock this incredible source of data and empower your business with more analytics intelligence!