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Data analytics is a powerful science and its value is increasingly discussed within all types of businesses and organizations. If you are new to the world of data analytics, here are some core concepts to understand before jumping in.

1. It can feel like a spring cleaning.

Especially when getting started, you will dust off data your organization has been holding onto for some time. Check out what ingredients your organization has stored in its kitchen cupboards – things like event registration records, new membership prospect lists, or social media tracking are all ingredients that can be blended in to the mix.

2. Assorted data is valuable.

Both structured data, like rows of standardized numbers, and even unstructured data, like social media posts, can (and should) be used. Each data set taken by itself holds insight, but looking across multiple data sets can connect dots. For example, think about structured data like the week attendees register for an event and unstructured data like job title. Connecting these pieces, you could uncover when certain attendees, like exhibitors versus C-level executives, are most likely to register. Variety in data type adds richness and that makes for tasty insight!

3. It should be baked from scratch.

Every organization has unique questions, goals, strategies, and composition, etc. For this reason, you’ll get insights about your organization only by using a customized approach based on your data…the cake-in-a-box version won’t cut it. For example, forecasting attendance at a 1,000- versus 10,000-person event requires customized analysis on early registration deadlines, registration categories, and other information unique to each event.

4. It’s a high-tech, high-touch process.

Baking cookies requires both a hot oven and a chef to prepare the dough. Similarly, data analytics leans just as heavily on technology as it does on analysts to manage the data. For example, do you sometimes forget to include your organization’s suffix (Inc, LLC, Co.) when registering for an event? Various technology platforms will likely treat each name as a separate institution all together, whereas analysts are capable of picking up on these variations and others like it.

5. It should be done while the data’s hot.

In every moment, we add data points with a new sales contract, a returning vendor registering for an event, or a user retweeting content. Keep your decision-making fresh by tapping into recent data-driven insight.

Your organization can follow the fundamentals of data analytics and perfect the recipe to your taste. Understand the core concepts above and you’ll be cooking up insights in no time.

Kate

@bearanalytics

Photo By: pippalou