Whether it’s the composite results of a client survey, or technical performance data, or financial information, the first thing to decide is which data points matter most. What are the key indicators that will define results and reveal insights in a meaningful way? Decide upon the critical data points and focus on those.
The next step in the process is sorting the data according to common elements. Computers are incredible tools for doing this faster and better than the human mind can do. But it is through the filtering process that patterns emerge. Computers have now moved into this realm too, with rapidly-evolving “Artificial Intelligence” capabilities. Yet I still believe in the remarkable reasoning gifts of “Human Intelligence”; this is where art meets science, as pattern recognition within those data points is where the ‘AHA!’ Moments live. Pattern recognition is where analytical practice makes perfect.
By definition, to be an “Analyst” is about finding meaning through analysis. To simply parse and sort data points isn’t where the value is created. The Value resides in actionable insights that are revealed through the data, then applying them in a meaningful way within the business. To do that requires presenting the data points in context and in a way that others can also “see” the answers that were once hidden within the bulk data.
It’s not about Columns and Rows; it’s about the true meaning of the data points that reside within them. That’s where you’ll find the magic.