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Data Analytics – Presentation Overweighs Analytical Skills

Sharing an old post I wrote 3 years ago on LinkedIn, I think it holds true even today. Would love to have your opinion on this:

 

Data analytics is a one of the very important areas to focus on these days. In today’s competitive world we want crucial information on our finger tips to make business critical decisions. Huge volumes of data along with multiple data sources make things complicated. Analyzing the raw unstructured data & coming out with meaningful information that can help take business decisions is what data analytics is in simple terms.

Lot of tools have been developed to integrate these multiple data sources, analyze the raw & unstructured data & visualize that in different pretty formats. That is perfect, we are making a lot of progress in this area with new tools coming in very frequently. We have increased the speeds with which these data sets can be analyzed by many folds in past few years thus enabling us to take faster decisions.

Now the question is, “Is it enough?”. Is it enough just to do the same thing we used to do 5 years back of course with better speed? Is it enough to visualize the same 5 years old thing with new pretty interfaces, tools & formats? I don’t think so. What is lacking here is, the thinking capability is not growing as fast as our tools. The trend in today’s world (In most cases) is something like “Ohh we got a new tool with better graphs & visualizations, let us use this for our reporting (same old reports)”. Because the colors are soothing to the eyes of management or it looks pretty on a presentation. Nothing wrong in that but the problem is we spent more time in getting different ways of presenting the same information instead of running our brains on what else we can do with our raw data. “Presentation is very important” is what is taught everywhere. But you need to have real content & if it is the same old one just formatted in a different attractive way, I don’t think it’s enough.

More investment in thinking & analytical skills of people is required if we want to grow in the long run. This can then be combined with these amazing tools to come up with effective & powerful decision making.

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