Lately I have been doing a lot more thinking around ‘how’ we are using data and information and much less around how can we get our hands on more data. This change in thinking actually comes from a few things. One being that I think we (as data professionals) have the firehose wide open now and are able to easily acquire data in massive amounts (terabytes and higher), we are well into thinking about using “Big Data” and how that is going to make ripples in
the data & information ponds. We also have the tools in the marketplace that can handle bigger data sets (i.e. Teradata) and BI platforms (i.e. Cognos, MicroStrategy, etc.).
With this change in thinking I am starting to realize that we will need to rethink how we are ‘consuming’ this data. Asking questions more around delivery. We can get a terabyte of data, we can cut it up fifteen millions ways ‘till Sunday but are we sharing these results in the best manner possible? In ways that consumers can easily take action? To me, trend analysis and other statistical methods are useful but aren’t a communication medium in and of itself. They aren’t put in a visible, user consumable, actionable format.
Even some of the new and more advanced data visualization tools are not there yet. They do great graphs, interactive pie charts, and lots of bright colors, but they still miss the boat. We need to have more of the actionable insights rise to the top and presented as part of the visual aspects of this data. The simple reason for this is that everyone isn’t data crazy like me and other data pro’s. They don’t like seeing every little detail and even more don’t want to have to dig more than absolutely necessary.
To make even more clear what I am saying, I would use for example an interactive pie chart where you can click on the individual slices but ALSO there would be data driven statements below that tell the story of the data (ie 26% of users are not using service abc because of slow customer service, poor delivery, and xyz). Something that makes it so blatantly clear for the user (data guru or not) on what decisions need to be made.
I am still thinking more about how this could work but I feel like I am trying to bridge a small gap between tons of data/information and the demand from businesses for reports and data that help them make clearer, more precise decisions with accuracy and specificity.
Joshua is working to become a Data Scientist with focus on Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, and Statistics. His passion for Data and Information are second to none. He is a certified IBM Cognos Expert with more than 10 years experience in Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing, Analtyics, IT Management, Software Engineering and Supply Chain Performance Management with Fortune 500 companies. He has specializations in Analytics, Mobile Reporting, Performance Management, and Business Analysis.
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