A good analyst uses Business Intelligence Tools like Batman uses devices stored in his utility belt.
Per Wikipedia, business intelligence (BI) tools are “a type of application software designed to retrieve, analyze, transform and report data for business intelligence. The applications generally read data that have been previously stored, often, though not necessarily, in a data warehouse or data mart.”
Knowing what business intelligence tool to employ to what data set in order to conduct analysis and present your findings requires a thorough understanding of what tools are available and what they can do.
The key general categories of business intelligence applications include:
- Reporting and querying software: applications that extract, sort, summarize, and present selected data
- Online analytical processing (OLAP)
- Digital dashboards
- Data mining
- Process visualization
- Data warehousing
By far the most common business intelligence tool used is MS Excel. Having at least a intermediate masterly of Excel is a good start in understanding how business intelligence tools work.
Learning to run formulas, insert pivot tables and produce simple visualizations using charts and graphs give a foundation in how to take data and do something with it to inspire analysis.
Using Excel also teaches you how data needs to be structured, formatted and managed. You can’t run even basic analysis activities if your data is not encoded in a way that your tools can make sense of.
Once you have mastered the use of Excel then the logical next step is using BI tools that pull data from Excel. For example, Tableau is a BI tool that can extract data from Excel to build more powerful data analysis and visualizations.
BI tools can also be used to mine data from large data storage systems like data warehouses, data lakes and data marts. Again, understanding how data is structured in important. Knowing how queries are written (for example in SQL) to extract data is important.
If you are looking to get a better understanding of what tools you should be using to analysis the data in your business, you can join my next training seminar (July 11, 2017) in Ortigas.
Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.