In today’s digital world, having the knowledge and skills to decipher and understand information is vital across all industries. Every organisation needs to have a data analysis plan in place to optimise their business output and performance. In this CPD article, we will explain what data analysis is, the importance of data analysis and how you can find a data analysis course, making sure you become an essential part of your workplace workflow.
What is Data Analysis?
Data analysis can be defined as the means to prepare, process and analyse data in order to make informed business decisions. This can be as simple as organising your customers into who lives inside or outside the United Kingdom, or even breakdown whether there are differences in urban or rural areas.
Data Analysis uses several skillsets such as computer programming, statistics and mathematics to give accurate analysis. New technologies and tools are being developed to help with this as this will lead to a lot of information to be deciphered. But, unless you begin with asking the right questions and know what you want to achieve with your outcomes, you will end up with a lot of data that mean nothing on its own.
Why is Data Analysis important?
Every time we go online, we leave a digital trail. For a lot of organisations this will relate to their customers, new and returning as well as potential customers. When we purchase from a retailer, they now have information about us. Knowing how each customer reacts to a product can help companies with marketing and planning future products.
Data analysis uses raw data so businesses can come to conclusions about that data. It can help businesses realign their own goals and plans in order to make better business decisions. There’s no point in providing a product if your customers are not interested in that product. Using the collected data, the goal of a business will be to use that information to improve the business performance.
What does a Data Analyst do?
Although different organisations will have different work processes, the work of a data analyst can be broken down into some key areas and skills:
- Determining what the data requirements are and how the data is grouped together. This could be gender, demographic, age etc.
- Collecting the data: This can be done though websites and online resources, environment resources.
- Organising the data so it can be analysed. This can be done through software or a spreadsheet.
- Cleaning the data. This removes any duplicates, incomplete data or any errors which may skew the results.