5 Essential steps to analyze your data

Dec 7, 2018, 11:21 am

Jennifer S.

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The Internet is full of useful information many of us can use to determine our future professional goals, identify weak spots and virtues, or plan a marketing strategy. Even more than that, with the amount of information that gets imported into the online community on a daily basis, one can achieve almost anything, if the cards are played out well.

Now, since all the resources are scattered and coming from a number of different locations, it’s not easy making sense out of all that mess. Furthermore, once you collect all the data necessary to begin your analysis, a step in a wrong direction or failure to detect a certain factor can lead to false results and do you more harm than good. That’s why we created a list of five necessary steps you need to take in order to make sure the results you operate with are true. Let’s take a look at each step and explain why each of them is important.

Step 1 – Set up your goal

All the information in the world is barely worth a dime without a clear vision what you can and will do with all the data at your disposal. The starting point of your analysis would be clearly stating the object of your endeavor. What is it that you wish to achieve? This is important because the subject of your analysis determines the parameters of your work.

Per example, if your goal is to analyze the soda consumption in Los Angeles on weekends, you can easily determine all the necessary variables that you need. This way you will know what you are looking for in that vast ocean of ones and zeros.

Step 2 – Collect the proper data

With mission objective on your mind, as we already stated, you are able to define what sort of data you need. The next course of action is to find all the sources available to you, or better yet, think about hiring a third party to collect the data for you. The research process is extremely important and needs your full attention so that you only keep the information relevant to your job.

Be mindful of the timeframe and other variables that could influence the end result, as long as you follow the path you drew while setting up your goal, you’re on the right track.

Step 3 – Preparing the information

When all the information is piled up, the next step would be the preparation of the data to be analyzed. There could be some information available from more than one source; some items could be written in more than one way, which could lead to misinterpretation, simply put, data needs to be clean without unrecognizable or unnecessary information. Sometimes, if you don’t feel up to the task you can hire some to help you clean your data. It’s almost the same as when writers hire online services like essaygeeks.co.uk and others to proofread their content.

Step 4 – The analysis

Depending on the goal of your analysis, there are many things one can do in order to interpret the data collected through research. Visual solutions like graphs can show trends, correlations, or current position. Furthermore, there’s also a chance to raise new questions that would lead to an explanation for a certain state of affairs. Per example, if your analysis shows that, on weekends, soda consumption in Los Angeles goes up, you could use the data at your disposal and reach the cause of this trend.

Step 5 – Presenting the results

No matter how wholesome and devoted work you put in analyzing data, it’s imperative that you present your findings in a proper manner that would be easy to comprehend. More importantly, all the information you present needs to prove the point you’re trying to make. In case you’re showing the results to a broader audience like clients, a board of directors, or business partners, make sure that all the visuals like graphs and charts are well placed and explained.

In case you were performing an analysis for your own business purposes, clear and detailed representation of the results will allow you to act in accordance with the data you produced.

Conclusion

Big Data is the phrase that rings louder and louder in the last few years. It basically stands for a large quantity of unsorted information from all available sources that can be used in almost any aspect of life, both personal and professional. Learning how to properly analyze the data contributes to the improvement, development, and planning of the future actions. This leads to a safer and more carefully planned long-term business strategy.

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