Understanding what’s important to the business helps analysts to evaluate what data counts or should be counted. Analytics gives you valuable insights into what is and isn’t working. If your company doesn’t understand what mistakes it has made with its websites, campaigns, or mobile apps, it will keep on making those same errors.
Blind opinions and theories
than blindly following the most popular or loudest opinion, you should
use data to question, inform, and shape your perspective. While you
don’t always have to agree with the data, your understanding will be
increased and enhanced by it. And blind guesses: usually not the best
option. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.
Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of
theories to suit facts.
Some managers are only interested in the numbers when they support their decisions. Rather than dismissing bad results or covering up mistakes, more managers should embrace these trying insights for the value they can provide in helping to refine their understanding, intuition, and overall effectiveness.
And just like many other things in life, data can be ignored. It’s true we might not always like the results we see in our analytics tool, but ignoring the data isn’t going to make things any better either. Do something about the numbers, don’t ignore them. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored!
The process of analysis
Success is dependent upon asking the right questions. Both
of the business stakeholders and of the data in your analysis approach.
Framing a business question properly is critical because if you don’t,
you could go astray in your analysis or return with the wrong insights. A
successful analyst is able to remove the noise when analyzing data and
isolate what matters to his or her organization. With most companies
collecting large amounts of data, you need to be both talented and
disciplined to pinpoint key insights that can yield value.
You can go too far in trying to force your data to yield up insights. You may discover you just don’t have the data you need to answer the business question at hand. While waterboarding your data may result in an answer, it won’t be very reliable. Realize when you need more data points before you can complete your analysis.
Along your analysis journey, you may encounter unexpected insights that are unrelated to what you were originally analyzing. Exploration and discovery are why many of us enjoy performing analysis. You never know what you’ll learn about your business or customers.
while all of the knowledge you have as an analyst is great, it can
actually trip you up in your communication approach. Because your
audience hasn’t poured over all of the data and doesn’t have the same
context, you need to try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes when
you’re determining how to best share your insights and recommendations
Data visualization is not only important to presenting our insights but also for exploring the data for insights. While a weak or wrong visualization can bury a good insight, a strong or suitable visualization can make it stand out. Take advantage of the fact that the human brain finds it easier to process information when it is in the form of a picture rather than words or numbers.
To communicate effectively with data, you need to tell a story with it. While data relies on logic and reasoning, decisions are often made based on emotion. Merging logic and emotion can be a powerful combination to drive action from your insights.
From analytics to action
would need to turn insight into action if you want to progress down
the path to value with analytics. If the insights aren’t being acted
upon, then your analytics isn’t providing any value. Evaluate the key
steps in your analytics value pipeline from end-to-end and identify
where potential breakdowns might be occurring.
In analytics, you can get very busy with collecting new forms of data, integrating data sets, building new reports or dashboards, and so on. However, these activities should be a means to an end. To drive value from analytics, companies need to act on the insights. If you’re not careful, you can easily waste too much time and effort in Setupland and not spend enough time in Actionland.
Source: Web Analytics Action Hero