Data Insights

Last week, we covered how to explore your data, but what should you be looking for when you do? Knowing what to look for is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to data exploration.

An insight in your data can take many forms, but is typically going to be related to an unexpected change in one or more of your metrics. For example, if revenue dips it is likely that sales are down, prices have dropped or something is wrong in your payments systems. Because they are unexpected, insights like these can be hard to find since you might not know to look for them.

Luckily, there are some common classes of interesting insights in your data. These common characteristics make it easier to know what kinds of insights you can find and what to look for when you find them. For example, I cannot tell you what might be causing Revenue to dip for your new line of blue shoes, but the kinds of changes that lead to dips in revenue are common.

This week we’ll review some of these common insights, how to find them and how to provide the context to understand them. Specifically we will cover:

Tomorrow we’ll get started with the simplest form of insight, anomalies.

Quote of the Day: “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.