When we talk about acquiring new analytical skills, we are referring to our desire to be better at deriving, interpreting and expressing patterns within data sets. In the context of professional life and running a company such skills can be put to great use in various fields, such as marketing, finance or decision-making.

No universal solution

Every manager or business owner has to make decisions based on facts and data available to them, rather than rely on intuition and gut feeling. Of course, there’s no universal analytical model that can be applied to every context, i.e. company, but the manager in question needs to be able to use different ones.

For example, you might have to use data to visualize outcomes of various strategic approaches or to collect data from all sorts of sources in order to identify trends, opportunities or risks. However, you need to be careful about the legality of such actions.

Also, relying on statistical models and machine learning, you can also be able to anticipate future outcomes. Finally, those skilled enough to use simulation and optimization can reach decisions that will be beneficial to their businesses.

Selecting relevant data

This has always been crucial, but it has become more difficult over the years, primarily because of the sheer volume of information available. Still, this also means that you are presented with more opportunities to deepen and widen your insights, which in turn can help you create a better view of the current situation and trends. Not only that, but you can also predict with much greater certainty what the future has in store for your business.

Data sourcing

Another important aspect of analytics is data sourcing and combining information obtained from various sources. Now, there is one issue you need to be extremely careful about. Namely, you should make sure that the information has been obtained legally and whether you are allowed to be in its possession. If you have any concerns about the issue, it’s probably best to hire an expert in financial fraud advisory services, who can advise you on the matter.

If there are no legal or other obstacles preventing you from using the data, you should be creative and combine traditional data with that obtained through social media, which is usually contained in conversations, photos, and videos. The fact that information might be unstructured should not prevent you from exploring and exploiting it.

Build models to optimize outcomes

What you do with the data available is another crucial aspect. While many companies turn to data mining and collect huge data sets, hoping they will allow a more in-depth analysis, they also run a risk of being overwhelmed with the scope of data and not knowing what to do with it.

The key problem is identifying important correlations between data, which can help you boost your business results. You should try to identify some underlying patterns that show how various elements influence key performance indicators.

The future

Just like the technological development has brought about many changes to almost every aspect of our lives, we are now witnessing the rising importance and relevance of analytics to the way companies operate. Even though it’s quite easy to follow a wrong path or make a mistake when processing and interpreting data, simply because of the amount available, there’s no aspect of running a business that can properly function without application of some analytical model.

However, if you can remain objective and how which indicators are important, you’ll be able to use a very powerful tool, which will help you run your company much better. The decisions you make related to business should be based on the information or projections provided by a relevant and correct analysis, which means that all managers need to improve their analytical skills.

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About The Author:

Raul Harman is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a masters degree in finance and banking and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. An avid reader and digital nomad who constantly strives to get new knowledge. Currently the writer for Technivorz, and Clippings.