Data Insights: Here are More Insights to look for…

This is part 5 of our series on Data Insights, previous segments are available in our archives.

We’ve covered the three most common types of data insights so far this week, but there are many more insights you should keep an eye out for while exploring. Here are a few:

  • Emerging Trends. If an overall metric is not changing, but some of the key segments or dimensions of that metric are all trending up or down, there might be an emerging change. These changes start small but eventually grow large enough to impact the overall metric, so if you find one you can proactively handle the upcoming overall change. (Read more in our series on Metric Component Analysis).
  • Clustered Insights. A single anomaly or trend might not be interesting, but if there are a cluster of anomalies or trends that are all happening at the same time, it might be very interesting. (Read more in our series on Clustering).
  • Changes in Seasonality. Your data can change in ways that aren’t visible day-to-day, or even month-to-month. Changes in the seasonal shifts in your metrics (and business) can indicate larger market shifts and customer behavior changes. To see these changes, you’ll need to look at years of data and see if the cycles are consistent. (Read more in our series on Seasonality).

One of the most important types of insights that I can’t describe here are those you find using your own judgement. As an expert in your business, if something doesn’t look right, you should trust you instincts and dig in deeper. It’s very likely that your expertise can detect insights that might be hidden via any other means.

In Review: In the past two weeks we’ve reviewed a general framework for data exploration and some specific types of data insights you should look for during that exploration. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more I can tell you as how your exploration will proceed depends on your data and your business. I hope that you have some good tools at your disposal as they can help make it even easier!

Quote of the Day: “No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.” ― L. Frank Baum