How to Make Powerful Data Decisions Using Credible Data Science
Living in a data-driven world is a double-edged sword. While we have staggering amounts of data at our fingertips, we also run the risk of turning it into bad data science. And a decision made based on poor analytics can have a negative impact on business. But we’re not here to talk about the pitfalls of common data mistakes – we’re here to talk about credible data science and how to use it.
Gain Data Credibility Within Your Organization
Credible data-driven decisions are not just about numbers themselves – they’re also about the willingness of stakeholders to trust the guidance given to them by their analytics teams. That trust can come from a few places:
- Transparency: Make sure stakeholders have a general idea of what’s going on with the analytics team. They don’t need to know every detail of each project but keeping them in the loop makes a big difference.
- Analysts’ Backgrounds: With any project, process and trust in the team are paramount. Stakeholders should be familiar with who is working on their projects. By sharing experiences, skillsets, and successes, you establish credibility.
- Mastery of Analytics Concepts & Tools: Being able to perform an agnostic analysis is essential. While stakeholders don’t need to be trained on the tools, it’s important to let them know that the tools being used are reliable, effective, and widely trusted in the industry.
Once those three things are in place, it will be much easier to collaborate with stakeholders on data-based decisions. Some ways to do that include:
- Communication: Share methodology and assumptions early and often with stakeholders will help them understand what’s being done and why. Include them in the project appropriately to reduce questions later on and help them embrace the conclusions that are reached.
- Processes: Create reproducible methodologies, document steps, and be transparent with decisions around the usage and meaning of data. Utilize the same processes over and over again to build familiarity.
- Be Solutions-First: Lead with solutions and recommendations that can help decision-makers get the insights they need to drive the business forward.
Know When and How to Use Advanced Analytics to Solve a Problem
No matter how good an analytics solution is, there is no be-all, end-all format that will work for every single data need. While we can use learnings and formats from previous projects to guide us, we still need to view each analytics project that crosses our desk as unique. That being said, you may not always need advanced analytics to solve a data problem.
The first thing we do when we get a new assignment is to carefully analyze what’s being asked for and what we currently have. After carefully looking at data sources, KPIs, the client’s requests, and more, we see if we can simplify the approach to match the problem. Oftentimes, big questions can be answered with simple solutions – but sometimes they can’t. That’s where advanced analytics come in.
“Advanced analytics” is a broad group of services that includes predictive analytics, advanced segmentation modeling, text and sentiment analysis, and many other machine learning and statistical models used to get more out of your data. Sometimes these are needed. When they are, we always make sure that our solutions provide actionable insights that decision-makers can use to enhance their business.
Understand the Fundamental Business Questions to Answer
If we don’t know what the client’s looking for, then we don’t know what to look for – it’s as simple as that. The first thing to do when a new analytics project shows up is to make sure your team is aligned with the appropriate stakeholders. Data is a rabbit hole, and it’s easy to get lost down any number of branching paths. Making sure that you understand what specific problems a client wants to have solved will go a long way towards keeping a project relevant, useful, and credible.
Fully flesh out the problem, with stakeholders, when defining to find out what the desired outcomes of the analyses are. It’s important to make sure this isn’t done only in technical terms, but in terms that accurately describe the effect on the business. Once you’ve done that, make sure that you have a plan for putting your learnings into action that supports those outcomes.
Build a Long-Term Solution to Support a Variety of Business Questions
Solving a business question takes a huge investment of time and work, and many business questions will likely be recurring. That’s why it’s important to document and keep the work that you do. Over time, you’ll be able to optimize and build upon previous work to answer questions faster and faster every time. Through this process, you’ll be able to build a repository of processes, techniques, code, and more that can make you more efficient.
In today’s world, it’s not enough to just have data – that data must be clean, credible, and handled by skilled analysts who know how to make the most of it. Luckily, our analytics team is here to help – LaunchP.A.D.™, our suite of analytics and insights offerings, was built to help you analyze data that results in smarter, more informed decision making.
Learn more about LaunchP.A.D.™ and fill out the form to start making more informed data-based decisions with the help of our team.