Your Company Data and How to Put it Into Use
So, you have a lot of company data.
What are you going to do with all that information?
You should realize by now that company data is useless if you don’t know where it is and how to use it. Forrester reports that between 60% and 70% of all the data within a company is just wasted. When you realize just how much insight you can get from analyzing data to improve your business that is unacceptable.
Think of all the opportunities that you are missing out on just because you did not use your company data properly.
There’s no problem if you spend a great deal of effort in gathering company data because this task can often be automated to cut down on the collection time and to increase accuracy of the data. Just make sure that you put enough planning and effort into consolidating, connecting and analyzing it properly.
One good way to organize your data for analysis is in a data warehouse. Follow along now as we discuss what a data warehouse is.
A solid data warehousing stragegy is the first step towards guaranteeing that you can get the most out of all the information your company has.
Data warehousing is a technology which is designed to collect data from several sources in a single location to facilitate analysis of your company data. A data warehouse is different from a normal database. A database is meant to maintain the accuracy of data and to allow updating of information in real-time and is often used by business applications. In contrast, a data warehouse is meant to provide a long-term view of the data and is often used for reporting and business intelligence dashboards.
Why Do You Need a Data Warehouse?
Here are several reasons why you need a data warehouse:
• To allow you to make decisions based on large amounts of data.
• So you can gather data from multiple sources together in one place for reporting.
• You want to use simple technology when accessing complex data.
• You need to process large amounts of data quickly in order to generate a report.
In other words, a data warehouse helps you to handle large volumes of company data. If you want to save money and have blazing fast performance, a cloud data warehouse may be for you.
Using Data Analytics
Using a data warehouse to collect your data in the same place for analysis is just the first step in putting your company data into good use. Once you have all the data in one place, the next step is to make sense out of it all so you can make informed decisions. Data analytics is how you make sense out of the big data your company has in its systems.
Getting Started with Data Analytics
Lack of data is not a problem these days. Getting information about your business is easier than ever. The problem now is using all that information to make data-driven decisions.
Here are the steps that you can follow in order to get started with data analytics in your company:
1. Define the Questions That You Want Answered
Before you can go on and begin your analysis, you need to have a question first. The question will define what it is that you want to learn from the data. The question should be simple, concise, and its answer should be measurable. The question will define the direction of the analysis.
2. Decide What You Should Measure
Now, that you have your question, you need to define the data that you should be measuring in order to get an answer to the question. Think about what kind of data you would need in order to answer your question. After you have decided on which data you need to answer your question, you must decide how that would be measured. Do you need a timeframe for it? What unit of measurement is best to use?
3. Gather the Data
Because you have clearly defined what question you want to answer, you need to identify the information that you must get into the data warehouse to perform your analysis. Once you have identified the data, it needs to be formatted and loaded into the data warehouse. Make sure that you have a standardized file naming system in your data warehouse that everyone who is working with the data can understand. Organize the data in datasets, tables or sheets so it can be identified and accessed more easily.
Now, you are ready for the part where you will be doing actual analysis of the data. There are several ways that you can do this, and it should depend on the questions that you are aiming to answer. The simplest form of analysis would involve visual inspections of tables and graphs to look for trends and patterns. Counting and comparing numbers is also a basic practice in data analysis.
For more complex questions, you may have to do some calculation. You may want to get the mean average of a series of measurements for starters. You can also compare your current data with previous data from different periods. There are so many ways that you can analyze the company data within your data warehouse.
5. Interpretation of the Results
After you have analyzed the data, you need to interpret the results that you are getting. When you are interpreting the data, your initial question should be answered. If that question cannot be answered by your analysis, then you must do it again. You should also consider if there are any limitations to the conclusion that you came up with. Often the results of an analysis will lead to yet more questions and the analysis process will begin again.
That is how you can get started with data analysis. Data analytics is a powerful tool that your company should utilize.
By using a data warehouse and following these steps for data analysis, you will be making better decisions for your company now and in the future. The more experience that you have with data analysis, the faster the process will be.
If you have questions about how to start using data analytics and a cloud data warehouse at your company, contact Collage Analytics for a FREE consultation today!