Putting Your Data to Work is SOLD OUT! Working on the 2nd Edition Now!

I feel so excited to share with you all that we are now completely sold out of my recent book, Putting Your Data To Work: An Analytics Guidebook for the Filipino Professional.

I am currently working on a 2nd addition with additional images, content and an expanded section on predictive analytics.

If you would like to pre-order a copy of the 2nd Edition, send us an e-mail at analytics@dmaiph and we will add you to the waiting list.

My plan is to have copies available by mid March if not sooner.

Thanks so much to all of you who purchased a copy of the 1st edition. I’m proud to say that we’ve gotten some fantastic feedback from readers that I will incorporate into the new edition.

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2017 is the year that Analytics will go mainstream across the Philippines. My book is a great guide for ensuring your organization has a solid analytics foundation as the era of Big Data is upon us.

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.

Q8: Here’s something a lot of us are wondering, what exactly is big data?

Think about some of the things you do in your daily life. You get up, you eat, go to work/school, shop, do something for entertainment, bank, go online and do things on social media. Everything you do generates data. That data is captured in countless ways. And then its stored in countless places. And analyzed by countless numbers of people. And then used in countless ways by businesses to market, design, advertise, build, sell, and so on.

Every time you check your phone to see if there are any updates on Facebook you generate a lot of data for your phone manufacturer, your service provider and Facebook itself. Everything you like or comment on can be turned into a data point. The time, place and length of your connection all provide useful data. Get the point? Its endless.

That’s big data.

In general, big data is thought of as all the data businesses capture and store in a database that they can use for business decision-making.

When you think of data collections that have millions and millions of rows of data like big bank transaction data, or traffic data for major cities, or all the statistics captured everyday across professional sports. Way too much for man to analyze without help from technology. That’s all big data.

Every business defines its big data a little differently. There is no one way to look at how best to manage big data because big data is such a living, evolving, never ending flow of information. It’s like lakes of water that are too big to swim across and too deep to dive to the bottom of without help. And no two lakes are alike.

Data analysts and data s2.5.2cientists are the ones who know the lake and guide you across or build you a submarine to explore the bottom.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, knowing the data environment is key to your success. And big data just adds weight to that statement. If you don’t know where all the data is coming from, can’t be sure if its clean, then you will get lost in the deluge of big data.

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities.

DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

 

 

Q6: Can you provide some tips on how to manage data?

So you have the data lake, the messy version of the lake or data swamp and then the pristine, well managed version of the data lake called the data reservoir.

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Imagine how a reservoir of fresh water is used for multiple purposes… fishing, drinking, watering crops, providing electricity. That’s how your data should be structured. Even if you are working with multiple data sources made up of a lot of unstructured data from social media, you need to be organized with your data.

I’m willing to bet that if you are reading this then you are by nature pretty organized. Analysts tend to be. If you are working in an data swamp and the company culture is not data-driven, the best advice I can give you, no joke, is to find another job.

What to look for in a data-driven company? Are the data warehouses easy to use? Is their documentation on the data architecture? Is there a knowledge base? Are there experts and are they open to helping you?

If you say yes to questions like that, then your data management tasks are generally about optimization, data blending, adding new sources and being a kick ass analyst.

If you say no to questions like that, then your data management tasks are generally about cleaning data, lots of data validation and having your analysis be filled with caveats that you might be missing something.

So a few tips I have for those in good data companies; get your documentation fresh, do a lot of bread crumb dropping, save your queries and models.

Keep the data architects,database admins and/or IT staff in your circle. Share with them how powerful your analysis is because of their help. And most importantly, show you masterly of the data lake.  Tell your story. And teach others how to fish in it.

For those of you not so blessed with good data cultures. You have to start on both ends. Map out the data flow. Try and assess where the data goes bad. Is it the input or capture of the data, is it a loading process, is it filers? Once you get a start on the front end, then go to the back end.

Who needs the data? How much of what data is being provided now is actually usable? Eliminate any unnecessary data. Basically start cleaning up the swamp at the same time you map it. And again tell this story. Don’t make excuses, but you do need to educate. Let people know there is a problem with the data and outline what you will do to correct for it.

In either case, before you go out and request or purchase new tools or start adding new data… make sure you have the architecture figured out. That’s the best tip I can give you about managing data.

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The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

Q5: What are some basic strategies an analyst can use to find the right data at the right time? – Part 1

Several years ago I came across a book called the Accidental Analyst. After reading the book I was inspired to come up with a way to teach analytics to college students and fresh graduates.

The core of both the book and my program hinges on the ability of an analyst to find the right data at the right time.  The authors suggested that identifying your data is where it all starts. Identifying exactly what you need to address whatever it is that you need to report.

When I am training newbies, I generally brake finding data into two parts… the process of getting the data and the process of making sure the data is valid.

Back at Wells Fargo, the single greatest attribute that I had that made me successful was my ability to size up how long it would take me to deliver something. Knowing what data I would need, where I would find it and how long it would take me to analyze it to come up with something useful made me somewhat of a wizard in the minds of the team.

Finding the right data at the right time requires one to first off know their data. You have to know how the data is captured, where it is stored and how it makes it way to you. Knowing the data architecture in your business is the key.

So you have to get to know the people who know where you data comes from and how it gets there. Learn from them. Partner with them. Buy them doughnuts.

A few months ago I came across an analogy being used to describe data in a business. That of a data lake. A data lake is the living, breathing, evolving pool of all the data in a business. If you have a good data architecture, and you can navigate it fairly easily, then you have a data lake.  Ideally, your business has data structured in such a way you can live off it. Data to a business is like water to living things… it sustains life

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So once you have the lake mapped out, then you have to learn how to fish it. Knowing where the fish are biting is another key. Once you know what data you need, you have to know how to get to it quickly.

Business Intelligence tools help us here. As does coding languages to extract data from a database. These are your fishing tools. You have to practice using them to be good at getting the right data at the right time.

Another way to optimize your data search is to save your work. Of as I call it leave yourself breadcrumbs. Save the query. Cut and paste the code into a document and save it. Write down the steps. Whatever you need to do to replicate what you just did so you can do it again in the future without starting over from scratch.

So to recap, how to you find the right data at the right time? You know its structure, you understand how its stored and you leave yourself clues to do things faster next time.

Now the other part of the equation is knowing if the data you are using is the right data. Finding data quickly doesn’t do you any good if you bring back the wrong data. We’ll talk about data validation and data quality in a future post.

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

Q4: Can you please describe the current state of analytics in the Philippines? – Part 2

So the last blog post gave us the history. Now let’s cast an eye on the future.

Over the past year or so I have started to see a significant effort from data science and analytics professionals come together to address some of the challenges outlined in my last blog post.

In short, the way higher education and the government has approached the need for analytics talent is simply to little to late to meet the needs of many businesses.

Everything they are doing helps, but in the end the world is desperately looking at the Philippines to do with analytics what it did with customer service. To become a center of capable, long-term and affordable talent.

With taking customer service calls, it was a natural fit given that most Filipino college graduates have a foundation in English. With analytics and data science it has not been so easy. While many Filipino have the underlying course work in coding, database management, computer science, etc… they are not getting enough exposure to data-driven decision making, business intelligence tools,  and more advanced things like machine learning, prescriptive analytics and blending big data from diverse data sources.

I don’t want to sound too pessimistic, things are moving quickly but it is generally the multinationals driving things forward. They have the clients, they have the need and so they go out and find people and train them. That’s why 3 years ago hardly anyone in the private sector was offering analytics training, now you see more and more options all the time. They are generally expensive and narrow in focus, but they are opening up huge opportunities for data loving Filipinos to get into upwardly mobile and financially rewarding careers.

I belong to a couple of newly founded organizations of data scientists and analysts who meet on a regular basis to share knowledge, support each other’s ideas and build a community with the goal of using data to helping both the Filipino to fill these open jobs and for the Philippines to begin to use more data in decision-making so we can solve the big issue problems important to all of us.

It’s a pretty exciting time.

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So where next?

Given that the Philippines is one of the youngest countries in terms of average age on the plant and the youth are incredibly communal and very tech savvy, I have found great success in training batch of Filipino fresh graduates in basic analytics. Of the 200 or so trainees I have personally trained, most of them now have jobs with analyst in their title.

I have also seen a lot of talent quickly go from novice to expert using applications and doing coding in relatively short periods of training. In many respects the approach to analytics is more vocational then academic allowing for quicker training.

Beyond these strength, you can expect more partnerships between the government, higher education and big business to offer training and career pathing.  The success of the BPO industry is really the driving force to add employees who can do the tasks of an analyst. The huge surge in job postings demonstrates this quickening trend.

Finally, the reason I see a bright future for analysts and data scientists in the Philippines is the simple fact that Filipinos gravitate to under filled career paths, they push themselves to get the skills to fill those jobs.  You see it in the Middle East oil fields, in sailors and seamen in just about every ship at sea, you see it with overseas workers across the planet, and you saw it happen with call centers.

And that is exactly why I set up my business in the Philippines. Here are some of the analytics solutions we offer:

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics.

HR & Recruitment Analytics – The recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge facing just about every organization. You really have to Think Through The Box to come up with winning solutions to effectively attract, retain and manage talent in the Philippines today. DMAIPH is a leading expert in empowering HR & Recruitment teams with analytics techniques to optimize their talent acquisition and management processes.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn how to get more analytics in your Business or your HR & Recruitment process so you can rise to the top in the ever quickening demand for top talent.

Q3: What are some of the current trends in analytics?

Every few months I devote a day to discover what are the current trends in analytics. I do this both to refresh the slides in my presentation and to refresh my mind to see what I may have missed.

The amount of literature out there on analytics continues to blossom at an amazing rate, making it a true challenge to stay well versed on what’s hot and what’s not. I read a new analytics themed book about once a month and I have well over 200 blogs, web sites and social media groups cataloged. So I like to think I’m pretty well versed on what is current.

Every time I go to list the top 5 analytics trends, I find that some things change and some stay the same. Ever since I have been doing this, data visualization is near the top. Business dashboards continue to be a big need. Business intelligence tools evolve and new ones’ pop up, but Tableau continues to be a market leader. 90% of us still use Excel for 90% of our analytics work.

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Still a lot has changed. When I started this just 5 years ago no one was really talking about Big Data or Data Science. People just stared discussing using predictive analytics and now its all about prescriptive, even though most of us are still just doing descriptive analytics. For the newbie, descriptive = historical, predictive = forecast models, and prescriptive = really complicated models with a lot of variables to not just predict the future but to show a lot of alternatives as well.

Now if you talk to experts they make think nothing I have mentioned so far is new. But to the novice analyst or to the manager who really doesn’t care what’s it called, she just want’s results… its all new to them.

So I try each time to really find something really new not just to me but truly new to analytics. Six months ago that was the idea of using a data lake instead of a data warehouse. For those still unsure what a data warehouse is, it’s a collection of databases stored and/or connected centrally. Data lakes are used to describe the reality that more and more data is now unstructured data.

The discussion on what is unstructured data and how best to mine it and integrate it with structured data has really been at the forefront for a while now. Going from 80% structured to 90% unstructured in in just a few short years as mankind generates unprecedented amounts of data not easily captured in a database every day.

As of today, if I had to pick 5 topics to talk about it would be (1) Hiring Data Science and Analytics Talent, (2) Big Data Analytics, (3) Data Warehousing and Data Lakes, (4) Data Blending and (5) Mining Public Unstructured Data

Check back with me in a few weeks and this list will change.

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

Q2: Can you tell us what makes you an Analytics Champion?

Well, the first thing you should know about analytics is that there is no one right way to do things. Analytics is in many ways a new profession and up until very recently few people have seen being an analyst as career path. In fact the majority of analysts became so by accident.

Like in my case, most analyst are drawn to analytics because they like to solve problems, have an affinity for working with data, are tech savvy and above all else… insatiably curious. By the time I first had analyst in my title, I had already been doing analytics for several years.

Right out of college I found my novice skills with Excel, my interest in sharing knowledge and my ability to solve problems leading labeling me the data guy. There is nothing specific in my background that would suggest I’d become an analytics guru someday.

Majored in History with a plan to be a teacher. Obtained my Master’s Degree in Education. Started to teach. The school I was working at went bankrupt. Took a job with Wells Fargo Bank just to pay the bills and 15 years later I had amassed a wide range of analytics skills.

If you ask anyone with analyst in their job title, most of them have similar stories. Until recently you could not even get a degree in analytics as schools are just now offering analytics focused courses and degrees.

In 1998, I had the good fortune of being hired by Wells Fargo. The factors that contributed most to my success with the bank were two things inherit in the culture; its progressive use of data in decision-making and its accepted practice of moving up the corporate ladder by moving between departments.

If I had to pick one thing above all others that had made me a good analyst, it is my ability to quickly assess a problem and then identify the data needed to solve the problem.  For my money, finding the right data is the most important trait to have and also the hardest to teach. It comes out of being curious and letting that curiosity drive you to find answers.

For 15 years that drive lead me to add new skills, learn new technologies, and develop new methods to become a proverbial jack of all trades when it comes to analytics. I often describe myself as a super hero, analytics being my super power and the wide range of skills I’ve picked up being items on my utility belt.

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I am far from an expert on most of the ever increasing number of analytics tools out there, but I know what they can do and what they are good at. There are definitely a lot of people who are better at different aspects of analytics and no one can know it all. But in the end, I have become in many ways a guru of analytics.

I love talking about analytics, explaining it in layman’s terms, empowering people new to the concept, turning on the light in a dark room. I also love talking about prescriptive analytics models, using SQL code to write a complex join between data tables or figuring out what tool would be best use to build a business dashboard.

Providing people with the fundamentals of analytics is what I have been destined to do.

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

Implementing the CHED Memo on Business Analytics > How DMAIPH Can Help

In 2013, the Commission for Higher Education (CHED), the governing body for Higher Education in the Philippines, published a memorandum requiring accredited colleges and universities to establish a Business Analytics Specialization Program for Business Admin and IT students.

The objectives of the business analytics specialization track aims to provide Filipino students the skills needed for different forms of Analytics namely, Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics. This track enables students to identify opportunities and implement or enact solutions for which these analytics can be used to solve business problems to aid intelligence and informed business decision-making.

One of the analytics training solutions that DMAIPH offers, is partnering with schools  on curriculum and instruction enhancement.  We are also more than willing to meet with you to explore possibilities of collaboration.

The key areas DMAIPH can assist with are as follows:

  1. Consultation with Key School Administration Decision Makers
  2. Initial Faculty Training via a 1-Day hands on workshop
  3. Building Student Awareness by speaking at student events
  4. Guest Speaking in classrooms and academic events
  5. OJT Opportunities with DMAI and out partner companies
  6. Fresh Grad Training for analysts looking to start their career
  7. Provide a textbook for business analytics based on the CHED memo

DMAIPH is adapt at providing staff and students with an overview of the current trends in business analytics that drives today’s businesses, as well as providing an understanding on data management techniques that can help organizations achieve their business goals and address operational challenges.

The need for more analysts and professionals with analytics training in the Philippines continues to quicken at an amazing rate. On any given day you can see over 2,000 analyst jobs posted on jobstreet.com

The demand of analytics talent in the Philippines far outweighs the demand. Even with specialized tracks like the Fundamentals of Business Analytics starting up over the Philippines, more needs to be done.

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DMAIPH is uniquely positioned to help schools deliver on CHED’s memo and help supply the demand Filipino businesses, BPOs and Call Centers are asking for.

We have been doing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing in the Philippines since May 2012. In addition, DMAIPH has helped over two dozen companies bring more analytics into their business and have trained over 100 batches of analytics trainees.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Data Science Philippines Meetup Group, DMAIPH champions the use of using data.

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.

Fundamentals of Business Analytics > Coming June 2015 > To A Business Analytics Course Near You

SNEAK PEAK…

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2.0The book Fundamentals of Business Analytics will be the first of a it’s kind; a textbook for Business Analytics students specifically designed for the Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines. The textbook closely follows the 2013 CHED Memorandum calling on all HIEs in the Philippines to add a Business Analytics tract to their curriculum. If you are interested in helping preview the book before it goes into general production, please send an e-mail to analytics@dmaiph.com expressing your interest.

Chapter 1 – The Concept of Analytics

Chapter 2 – Who Are Analysts

Chapter 3 – Current State of Analytics in the Philippines

Chapter 4 – Why We Need More Analysts

Chapter 5 – Basic Analysis – It’s Fun and its Easy

Chapter 6 – Finding the Right Data

Chapter 7 – Big Data & Data Warehousing

Chapter 8 – Let Your Data Do the Talking

Chapter 9 – Business Intelligence & Data Visualization

Chapter 10 – Descriptive Analytics: How We Got Here

Chapter 11 – Predictive Analytics: Where We Are Going

Chapter 12 – Prescriptive Analytics: Charting Our Path

#GrowMoreDMAI