How to find insights using Data Exploration

“Why did revenue drop by 5%?” Even in the most data driven organizations, you can be surprised by sudden shifts and changes in your metrics. These incidents often result in “fire drills”, which are emergency projects involving members of your team dropping everything to try and find answers.

In our experience, many of these fire drills fail to produce any meaningful results and waste too much time. The root cause is a lack of expertise in exploring data, which is unsurprising as few people have opportunities to practice exploring data. This is even further complicated because you rarely even know what you are looking for!

Luckily, there are many best practices we can share with you to help you get ahead and avoid wasting your time. Data exploration can be thought of in two parts:

  1. Methods – How do you explore your data to maximize your chances of finding what you want?
  2. Insights – What exactly are you looking for and how do you know when you’ve found it?

It will take us two weeks to get through both, and this week we will start with the Methods you should use with exploring your data. Specifically we will cover:

Tomorrow we’ll get started by how you decide where to start your exploration.

Quote of the Day: “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit