Most analysts spend most of their time finding data.
In fact, most analysts I know spend 50% of their time finding data.
Among other thing this can mean they are setting up data mining or data gathering process to look for the data or it can mean they reviewing their data for relevancy.
My experience is that when you spending this much time on the finding the right data phase it reflects a poorly structured data environment or a unfamiliarity with the data needed.
Dirty data is also a big time waste.
Experience is the best solution for challenges with finding data. The fact the finding phase % is so high speaks to both the explosion in the 3 V’s of Big Data (Velocity, Volume and Variety) as well as the number of analytics newbies.
To me this should be no more than 20% of your time.
I expected finding data would be the biggest chunk, but was surprised that over 50% of my analyst connections using at least 40% of their time finding data.
If you have one day to answer a key business question, this means you are using your entire morning just finding the data.
When you get back from lunch you haven’t even started the actual analysis yet and the clock is ticking.
Data is based on a survey I sent to 3,000 of my LinkedIn connections who are either analysts or work closely with data and analysis.
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