Data analysis is a process of collecting, organizing, and analyzing numerical data. Data analysis is the foundation for making decisions about different patterns seen in research and data. Multiple people have expertise in data analysis and a broad range of application areas from business to education, healthcare to engineering or science as well as lifetime fitness.
No matter what your subject of interest may be, there are many valuable resources available to you through college courses or online. Many companies or other institutions provide free access to their internal data sets so that anyone can do any kind of data analysis on them with relative ease.
However, in the end, it is the data that you analyze. Therefore you should be aware of some basic aspects of data analysis before diving into it.
15 Facts about data analysis are:
1. Not All Data Are Created Equal
Data is not equal. What’s the most common question that arises? Why should I connect with somebody on LinkedIn or what’s the one thing you must do in order to create a business plan?
This quote originated on Quora, an online Q&A site, and describes how data analysis can be misinterpreted by many business professionals who are looking for the answers to their questions. There would be no way to answer those questions without data but the problem is that not all data are created equally. That is why the importance of quality, quantity and application of data analysis cannot be underestimated today.
2. Data Does Not Speak
Data can neither speak nor shout! Data cannot describe itself! It’s a bunch of numbers, which have to be interpreted by somebody with special knowledge and skills. So, does that mean that data analysis is not important at all? Of course not! Data needs people who can articulate its value and uncover hidden insights within them.
The importance of taking note of this fact is that you need to know what kind of data you want to analyze before analyzing it and sometimes even before collecting it.
3. Data Analysis is an Art
I was not sure about this, but it seems that data analysis is an art. You need to be able to find patterns in large amounts of data.
You also need to be able to do the following things:
● Understand the rules of graph theory to create graphs
● Have a good understanding of statistics to count and analyze data , and ● understand text-mining to answer questions by finding links between different texts within the same or different documents.
4. Data Analysis is a Critical Skill
This data analysis is tremendously important for today’s business world. There are too many companies that are having data problems. In order to gain a competitive edge, they must have good data analysts in the team. They need to advance their business and are capable of understanding important insights that can be gained from the data in order to make better business decisions and are also responsible for helping decrease cost and increasing margin which in turn will help them gain more consumers and increase their profit.
5. Data Analysis is Often Misinterpreted
There are different types of data analysis: descriptive data analysis, causal data analysis, and predictive data analysis. There is a line between them which may cause people to misrepresent the results even though they are using the same methodology. The main difference between these three types of data analysis is that descriptive simply describes what happened in the past or what current situation is, causal analyzes data to figure out why things happened or how we can use the information for future decision making, and predictive analyzes the data to predict its next values in order to make decisions.
6. Data Analysis is Underrated
Data analysis is often a misunderstood process. It is important to get and be aware of the different types of data analysis in order to improve business and gain competitive advantage.
Developing best practices of data analysis is a huge key to success and growth.
7. Data Analysis Requires Good Excel Skills
You should be able to use Excel in order to do any type of data analysis especially when you are using advanced formulas. You must have a good understanding of advanced functions that are available within Excel’s formula bar that allows you to tweak the formula and make it more efficient, like the VLOOKUP function for example which will help you retrieve specific values from a lookup table without having direct column reference or without having exact value.
8. Data Analysis is Not a Magic
Data analysis does not happen by itself. You must have good skills in data analysis and in order get good results from your data. In order to do that, you must know how to analyze your own data, manage your time wisely and collaborate well with other people who have different types of expertise. If you fail to do these things, it’s fine if you use ready-made datasets but you will not gain any significant knowledge from them.
9. Data Analysis Requires Specialized Skills
There are different areas of data analysis that require different skills and different training. For example, data mining requires you to have good programming skills, while text mining requires you to be able to interpret data and make sense of it. You also need to have a solid understanding of statistics so that you can interpret all the valuable information from your data.
10. Data Analysis is a Good Career Choice
Data analysis is the future, especially when the industry is constantly growing and changing all the time. Knowing how to analyze data, use statistics and connect with others who are experts in their fields will help you gain more knowledge and get further ahead in your chosen career path.
11. Data Analysis is a Continuous Process
Data analysis doesn’t happen just once. It’s the process where you gain information and new knowledge from your data and that knowledge is crucial for controlling the business to be more competitive, or in the case of SMB to control their profitability and productivity. In other words, it’s important for SMB to grow their business and face challenges that may arise during the growth and also it is important for large corporations so that they can increase their competitive advantage over other companies.
12. Data Analysis Requires Different Skills Sets
Data analysis does not happen by itself. You must have knowledge about different types of data analysis, time management and advanced excel functions to be able to analyze your data and get useful information out of it. It is a continuous process and it requires continuous learning, continuous updating of your knowledge in order to get the best results from your data.
13. Data Analysis is Not a Step-by-Step Process
You might think that you can follow some kind of steps in order to do some kind of analysis on your data but it’s not the case. It’s a different type of process where you need to have different things in mind at the same time.
14. Data Analysis Requires Time and Patience
Data analysis requires time and patience. You need to know how to analyze your data, connect with others who are experts in their fields and learn continuous learning in order to be able to take the best results from your data. It’s a continuous process that requires time and attention so that you can have a deep understanding of your data and be able to use it effectively for future business decisions.
15. Data Analysis is Important
Businesses are working on increasing their productivity, competitive edge, profitability, sales volume and market share by doing data analysis based on the information they have from their data sources like various databases, spreadsheets etc.