Getting Started With Analytics

The primary people responsible for conducting analytics on the massive amounts of data we have today are analysts.

Analysts are skilled in using various technologies and methodologies to identify, inventory and integrate large amounts of data quickly.

A general definition of an analyst is a person who analyzes or who is skilled in analysis. Analysts examine things carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc. generally using a process of identifying, inventorying and integrating data. *http://www.dictionary.com/analyst

I often hear that most analysts today feel like they are drowning in a sea of data. They need to know how to take control of their data and analysis to quickly answer business questions and make critical decisions. They want to confidently present results and solutions to their managers, colleagues and clients.

You most likely clicked to this page because you fit the description above. If that is the case, then you made a good decision. 😉

All kidding aside, I have designed a method to help you look at analytics in a way that will make data and analysis easier to understand and conduct. My trainings and published content will also instruct you on how to share data in a more dynamic and influential way.

Analysts have been around a long time, but recent technological advances have both allowed us to produce and capture more data as well as give us the ability to analyze immense data sets quickly. Thus we are amidst a huge boom in the applications of analytics and the need for analytics talent across the globe. Analytics is something just about every business leader is trying to figure out how to use more effectively in their business. To add to our challenge, the demand for good analysts is booming just as fast as the explosion in big data.

As a result, there is a huge shortage of people who are skilled in working with data to answer questions and solve problems. This is why you have seen the number of analyst job postings increasing at an amazing rate. In fact the quickening demand for analytics talent has made it very hard for most businesses to find good analysts.

If you are a business leader, manager, owner, and/or executive are not actively trying to surround yourself with analysts and if you are not infusing an analytics centric culture in your business, you will most likely soon see your business fail.

Keep in mind that analytics is about looking for patterns in data to help answer questions. Most businesses use analytics to help ensure more data-driven decision-making.

The primary people responsible for conducting analytics on the massive amounts of data we have today are analysts. Do you have analysts on your team?

Analysts are skilled in using various technologies and methodologies to identify, inventory and integrate large amounts of data quickly. Are you an analyst yourself?

If you answered yes to either question, but you feel you need more training for yourself or your team, you are not alone.

A business needs analysts to make sense of big data, manage the storage of the data, and know when to use which of the 4 types of analytics (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive). To be effective, analysts need to have business intelligence tools to create data visualizations and build business dashboards.

I will cover all these concepts in more in upcoming my training classes. The classes are designed specifcally for people new to analytics and for business leaders looking to upgrade the level of analytics in their business.

For a list of training events, please visit www.sonicanalytics.com

Upcoming Training Dates

· June 5 in Ortigas (Metro Manila, Philippines)

· July 17, in Pleasant Hlll, CA (San Francisco Bay Area, US)

· August 14, Rancho Cucamonga (North of Los Angeles, US)

· August 22, in Bonifacio Global City (Metro Manila, Philippines)

My goal with this series is to help you look at analytics in a way that will make data and analysis easier to understand and conduct.

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics training, consulting and outsourcing company with offices in Manila and the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States.

We need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). So he has started an internship program under Sonic Analytics to empower the youth the use Analytic, plan Strategy and Present their views… ASP!

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized business looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities.

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APEC Data Science & Analytics Key Competency #2: Data Visualization and Presentation

According to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Advisory Group, Data Visualization and Presentation is one of the key competencies of a Data Science & Analytics professional working in the region.

By definition, a DSA professional demonstrates the ability to create and communicate compelling and actionable insights from data using visualization and presentation tools and technologies.

Data visualization is a general term that describes any effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. Being able to present these visuals in a way that initiatives action and empowers decision-making is just as important.

The best data visualizations are simply ones that take data and convert it to visuals like pie charts, line graphs, sales charts, etc.

Patterns, trends and correlations that might go undetected in spreadsheets or text-based data can be exposed and recognized easier with data visualization software.

Good analysts are the ones who can visualize data and use tools to add a story telling component to their analysis.

One of the best ways of communicating any kind of complex information is to turn it into a story, starting at the beginning and working your way through to the end.

Making the story relevant to the audience is key. By making the results both easier to understand and more likely to be remembered it becomes easier to convince an audience of the validity of your approach and make them more likely to accept and take action based on your conclusions.

In the end, just think of the adage picture is worth a 1000 words, just like a good pie chart is worth 10,000 rows of excel data.

IMG_9107

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 analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

Key Analytics Tip – Build A Data Map

One of the keys to being successful with analytics is having a clear view of how all the data flows into and through your business.

Building a data map to show all the entry points, all the places where data is stored, who and how it is  accessed  and what filters might change your data is one of the things I can help you do.

This is step one towards data integration and is a great exercise for a half day in-house training/seminar for any business or organization that is struggling to get valued out of it’s big data.

Per Wikipedia… Data integration involves combining data residing in different sources and providing users with a unified view of these data. Data integration appears with increasing frequency as the volume and the need to share existing data explodes.

If you can imagine a map of your business in your mind you are half way there. The next step is to build a flow chart like the one below

datamap

If you have something like this then you are on ahead of the game.

If you don’t, let us set up some time to discuss how to get started.

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story. 

 

It’s No Longer Just Enough To Know

In a recent conversation about using more analytics in the measurement and evaluation of public policies and programs, one of my colleagues said that in today’s world, “It’s no longer just enough to know.”

The point being if you aren’t using data and analysis to enhance your efforts and empower decision-makers with actionable insights, then you are not serving the public to the best of your ability.

A lot of government programs, non-profits and philanthropic organizations are what he called, “Information Rich, but Data Poor.”

Check out my upcoming webinar on Feb 15, 2017! https://dmaiph.com/2017/01/14/analytics-and-data-driven-decision-making-webinar-on-feb-15/

Just because you gather massive amounts of information in the form of data points, does not mean the data is adding value. In fact one of the biggest challenges the corporate world has been dealing with the past few years is how to optimize Big Data.

We live in a world where so much data is produced and captured, then analyzed and published in reports and article, yet the data and analysis alone is often not having the impact our policies and projects were intended to have.

In effect, we might know things, but we aren’t able to influence decisions because our data is not compelling enough.

To this end, I have advocated importing some analytics themed best practices from the corporate world to educate more on what to do with the data and how to put the data to use. To in short, be Information Rich, Data Rich to move towards more Data-Driven Decision-Making.

Starting backwards, I will first focus my training on the How. How do we make more data-driven decisions?

The I will focus on the Why. Why do we need to make more data-driven decisions?

From there we will go into several business analytics concepts like Data Visualizations, Public Data Mining, Data Lakes, Demographic Profiling using Big Data, and Data Blending.

amupicture1

A final topic of interest that I will bring to the discussion is the Plus Minus Implications for Unstructured and Qualitative Data. Things that at first can be hard to assign a number too, but are just important as any piece of traditional data used in decision-making.

At the conclusion of my work, public policy and project reporting will be much more data rich, influence will improve and decision-making enhanced.

Now we won’t just know, we will be able to champion what we know in ways that will make a difference.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

Most Analysts Are Spending Only 20% of Their Time on Reporting

In many cases reporting is either something that is set and stone and just needs to be filled or there is a time crunch forcing quick and dirty reporting.

Little time is devoted to using the data for storytelling, maximizing data visualization and really providing the audience exactly what its needs.

% Finding Analyzing Reporting
10 12% 6% 33%
20 14% 10% 39%
30 20% 31% 24%
40 6% 14% 2%
50 31% 16% 2%
60 14% 18% 0
70 0% 0% 0
80 0% 2% 0
90 0% 0 0
100 0% 0 0
       

Ideally, at least a third of the time should be spent post data gathering and analysis to really give the end user of the data the things they need for intelligent decision-making.

A full one-third only spend 10% of their time on reporting, which to me means that there is a lot of the waste in their analytics process.

If you take a full 40 hour week to complete a high priority, high value report but only have Friday afternoon to boil down your finding into a report, it is highly unlikely that your report will fully capture the fruits of your labor.

However, if the time frame is even shorter… you have to do all this in one day, you are just getting to the reporting phase at around 3:30pm.

You have less than an hour and a half to summarize you methods and boil your findings into a few points.

Making sure you craft a compelling story to really influence decision-making based on intelligent data analysis is likely impossible.

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.

Analytics Survey – DMAIPH conducts quarterly analytics surveys to collect data on current trends in analytics. We specialize in surveys that assess analytics culture and measuring how aligned an organization is to using data and analytics  in its decision-making. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out more about how DMAIPH can conduct surveys to help you assess the analytics culture in your business.

 

 

Big Data Analytics:Big Data—It’s Not Just Size > 2/21/17

I will be speaking on February 21, 2017 at Discovery Suites, Ortigas Center, Pasig City  on Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence.

With that in mind, I wanted to go into a little more detail about each section, starting with…

Enabling Your Business to Make Smarter Decisions Section 1 : Big Data—It’s Not Just Size

Participants will learn to Describe the Importance of Effectively Analyzing Big Data in Business Today
. Being able to explain analytics to non-technical people is very important for any analytics solution to work.

We will also come up with a Data Map to Analyze the Big Data in your business. A data map allows you to see how data comes into the business, where it is stored and how it is accessed. Knowing you data environment is key to having clean and valid data in your analysis.

Another goal will be Establish Clear Objectives When Analyzing Big Data. Knowing exactly what your end user needs, how they want your reports and what will happen to the fruits of your analysis will allow you to be much more value to the business.

I will show attendees how to Recognize and Apply Various Data Collection Methods
. Way to often we get stuck by not having documented are process clearly. Having an easily traceable and repeatable process will make your analytics life much easier.

In addition, we will talk about how to Identify and Resolve Problems Associated with Data Collection
. Not all data is good data. In fact cleaning data can eat up a lot of time, but it’s a better alternative to reporting based on bad data.

We will discuss the difference between Data Warehouses and Data Lakes. Knowing how data is used in your organization, who has access to it and what they do with it goes a long way in making sure your entire organization becomes more data-driven.

Finally, we will determine when to use Data Blending in your analysis. How to take all of the Big Data you have both inside and around your business and bring them together to give you a 360 degree view of things is also very important to success.

Thats section one… i’ll over the next 3 sections over the next few days.

If you are interested in attending this training, I can connect you with my good friends at Ariva Events Management who will be facilitating the program.

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 analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

 

The Analytics of Measurement and Evaluation

By taking inspiration from the way corporations use business analytics to optimize their Big Data, our Program Measurement and Evaluation processes can be greatly enhanced.

To understand the connection, let’s start with the mission of the Measurement & Evaluation program.

“The ability to effectively evaluate projects, programs and processes is becoming increasingly essential to organizational success today. American University’s online Master of Science (MS) in Measurement & Evaluation provides you with the knowledge to lead these evaluation efforts and the technical skills needed for analytically demanding roles in upper management.” 1

A good analytics solution constructs a universal framework for collecting, analyzing and utilizing data to determine project effectiveness and efficiency.

Likewise, an efficient measurement and evaluation of projects, programs and policies using analytics should ensure success. An analytics centered approach will likely work with corporate, non-profit and governmental organizations across various sectors and industries.

IMG_6912

We can look specifically to two key business analytics concepts I have used in my twenty plus years of analysis work; Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Data Visualization. The key to my success was my ability to answer important business questions using analytics.

Analytics is generally defined as the discovery of patterns in data that provides insight and identifies opportunities. As Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP said about analytics, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” 2

Organizations that invest in analytics generally make much better business decisions then one’s that don’t. In fact, IBM found that organizations who use analytics are up to 12x more efficient and 33% more profitable. 3

In the corporate world, business analytics is widely use to track, analyze and report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPIs are rolled up to senior leadership to drive business strategy, identify and mitigate risk and to optimize operational productivity.

This approach is very similar to the way projects in the Measurement and Evaluation are tracked, analyzed and reported.

So we need to ask ourselves, what are the KPIs for the project, program or process we are measuring? What points of data need to be captured, analyzed and reported to determine success?

A successful analyst is able to remove the noise when analyzing data and isolate what matters most to his or her organization. That is what is at the heart of measurement, knowing what data is important and what is not.

Once we have the right data, we can measure what the data tells us to determine success, causality, impact… whatever the outcome may be.

A quote often attributed to management guru Peter Drucker perfectly sums up why big corporations rely so heavily on analytics when he said “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Similarly, policy decisions can be made based on what is measured. Project funding can be impacted by what is measured. Process optimization can be directed by what is measured.

Once we are able to measure what is truly important to policy-makers, managers and decision-makers, we need to make sure we present the data in a compelling way.

This is where data visualization comes in.

I often make the analogy that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good pie chart is worth a thousand rows of data.

We all know that most people learn more by seeing something then by reading or hearing it. Data visualization takes that a step further.

Data visualization is not only important to presenting our insights but also for exploring the data for insights. Most people find it easier to process information when it is in the form of a picture then a collection of data.

Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick, found that, “Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”

The ability to take all of the data gathered in the measurement phase and use it in the evaluation phase will make a significant difference in the success of the project, program or process you are working on.

According to the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, “Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency”. 5

Data Visualization can be used to paint a picture of a program, project or policy that influences outcomes based on the KPIs. And by appealing to the basic human fascination with stories, a persuasive graph, chart or infographic can make all the difference in the world.

By adopting the business analytics concepts of KPIs and Data Visualization, and applying them to the world of programs, policies and projects, you can find the same level of success I found in the corporate world.

  1. American University, “Certificate in Measurement & Evaluation” http://programs.online.american.edu/online-graduate-certificates/project-monitorin Accessed October 20, 2016
  2. Carly Fiorina Speech from December 6, 2004 http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/speeches/fiorina/04openworld.html . Accessed October 20, 2016
  3. Simon Thomas, Senior Analytics Consultant for IBM https://youtu.be/Zi8jTbXnamY . Viewed October 20, 2016
  4. Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick, http://heathbrothers.com. Accessed October 20, 2016
  5. OPRE, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/the-program-managers-guide-to-evaluation-second-edition. Accessed October 20, 2016

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

Enabling Your Business to Make Smarter Decisions

Are you tired of being under constant pressure to make the right number-based decisions for your organization?

Are you too often overwhelmed by an out-of-control flood of numerical information, much of it conflicting and confusing?

Big data is booming ast as organizations devote new technology resources to tapping the terabytes (if not petabytes) of data flowing into their organizations.

Today big Data is flooding into the business both through internal processes and externally via social media.

What does this all mean for business intelligence (BI) users and systems?

With all the attention on advanced analytics for big data, what’s the play for BI?

Integrating advanced analytics for big data with BI systems is an important step toward gaining full return on investment.

Advanced analytics and BI can be highly complementary.

Advanced analytics can provide the deeper, exploratory perspective on the data.

BI systems provide a more structured user experience through there richness in dashboard visualization, reporting, performance management metrics, and more can be vital to making advanced analytics actionable.

Recently on December 6, 2016 I was at Astoria Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig City for a dynamic and empowering one-day training on Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence.

Course Description:

Make smarter business decisions using these powerful data analysis techniques

Information is supposed to make us smarter, but more often than not, it simply overwhelms us.

This program is for you if you feel like you’re drowning in data and unsure which data to use to drive your company initiatives.

The truth is that the amount of data available to help run your business is greater than ever before. To effectively use this information, managers must consider the practical side of big data…what matters to you is how do you grow and build a team to make smarter decisions.

Much of the information out there just discusses the promise of the data deluge. The challenge is not the volume of data but rather the judgment needed to use it.

This seminar goes beyond the qualitative side of data analysis to explore proven quantitative techniques and technologies for identifying, inventorying and integrating data, so that more informed and reliable business decisions can be made.

Learning Objectives



  • Apply Best Techniques and Cutting Edge Technologies to Organize, Interpret, and Summarize Quantitative Data
  • Create a Process to Analyze Data and Identify Patterns Not Apparent at First Glance
  • Reduce “Analysis Paralysis” and Go from Hard Data to Well-Reasoned Conclusions in Less Time

What Was Learned

  • Specific skills to effectively frame the problem you’re addressing to uncover key opportunities and drive growth
  • Critical marketing steps of orientation necessary before engaging tools and technology
  • How to simply and quickly amplify decision making by separating the signal from the noise
  • A framework for asking the right questions, allowing the ability to link analytics to business strategy

What Was Covered

  • Using data and statistics effectively in business today
  • Improper data manipulations and their consequences
  • Exploring quantitative data collection methods
  • Improving analysis success by effectively utilizing software
  • Understanding regression, trend lines, and scenarios in Excel
  • Utilizing the power of business intelligence software
  • Finding and analyzing data patterns, trends, and fluctuations
  • Interpreting and translating data into decisions

Who Attended

Over 80 business professionals who needed to learn more about the basic tools to quantitatively and accurately analyze the mountains of data that come across their desk each minute of every day.

Section One

Big Data—It’s Not Just Size

  • Describe the Importance of Effectively Analyzing Big Data in Business Today
  • Come up with a Data Map to Analyze the Big Data in your business.
  • Establish Clear Objectives When Analyzing Big Data
  • Recognize and Apply Various Data Collection Methods
  • Identify and Resolve Problems Associated with Data Collection
  • Discuss the difference between Data Warehouses and Data Lakes
  • Determine when to use Data Blending in your analysis

Section Two

Analysis—Using Business Intelligence Tools

  • Assess Your Current Analytics Culture
  • Describe the Issues and Trends in Today’s Analytics Field
  • Optimize your use of MS Excel for Big Data analytics
  • Discuss the concept of Data Visualization
  • Utilize BI Tools like Tableau Public
  • Build a Business Dashboard Prototype

Section Three

Interpretation—Assessing Results

  • Articulate the Importance of Accurately Interpreting Data
  • Determine and Analyze Risk, Uncertainty, and Probability
  • Spot Patterns, Trends, and Fluctuations Through Correlation, Regression, and Descriptive Statistics
  • Understand when to employ Descriptive, Predictive or Prescriptive Analytics
  • Build Data Models

Section Four

The Art of Presenting Big Data

  • Apply a Process to Present Big Data Clearly
  • Select the Appropriate Presentation Format to Communicate Your Findings Effectively to Your Audience
  • Master the Power of Enchantment
  • Use Findings from Big Data to Drive Decisions Within Your Organization

Too often people dive into the data only to be lost in haze of data.

This discussion will be pragmatic and immediately applicable to analysts, professional using analytics and managers of analysts across all industries.

Analytics Training – DMAIPH in partnership with Ariva Events Management, 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 analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

The Secret to Being a Great Analyst

The secret behind just about anything successful is having a plan.

What is your analytics plan?

How will you empower analysts to add value?

What data techniques can you learn to have a greater impact?

How can you get your hands on new technologies to enhance the way you work with data?

You need a plan.

An analytics action plan.

An analytics strategy plan.

An analytic roadmap.

Whatever you call it, you need a plan that combines the right analytics talent, the right analytics techniques and the right analytics technology.

You need to build a map of how your data flows through your business.

You need to identify people in your organization that are curious and comfortable using data to make decisions.

If you are ready to build your analytics plan and need to ensure it will achieve you goals, I will be facilitating a training class on February 21 in Ortigas. Send us an e-mail to analytics@dmaiph.com to register or to get more information.

I will help you come up with an analytics plan to help you start taking advantage of the business data you have in order to increase efficiency and grow profits.

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 analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

 

Data Analytics Training on Feb 21

Did you know that most successful businesses have solid data analytics in place across their entire organization?

Organizations that invest in data analytics generally make much better business decisions then one’s that don’t.

In fact, IBM found a few years back that companies who use data analytics are up to 10x more efficient and 33% more profitable the ones who don’t.

By bringing data together data from across the business, companies can get real-time insights into finance, sales, marketing, product development and much more.

Data analytics enables each team within the business to collaborate, achieve better results and outsell the competition.

Join us on February 21, 2017 in Ortigas, and learn how to turn your business data into insightful and actionable analysis.

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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 analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.