Follow the Analytics Brick Road: Where Do I Start?

Whether you come from a statistics background or you fell into data through the task of generating reports for your manager, embarking on the shiny golden road of advanced analytics begins with the layering of your existing analytics know-how. Terms like predictive or spatial analytics shouldn’t have you clicking your heels to go home for the day. It’s time to push your data beyond descriptive analytics by asking more advanced questions. Treat analytic inquiries like opportunities to grow your skill set and deepen the insights you deliver for your organization. Plus, you won’t just find the wizard, you’ll become the wizard. 

Spatial and predictive analytics don’t have to be scary — in fact, they can be quite fun. Let’s break down these mountains into acceptable climbs.

Moving Beyond Descriptive Analytics: What Happened?

Descriptive analysis is what you are likely doing today. You may also know it as standard statistical analysis. It’s simply looking at your data and asking what happened — as in, what trends, patterns, and relationships does this data describe? Perhaps you’re using techniques like arithmetic mean and standard deviation. Whether you were traditionally trained as a statistician or learned data analysis on the job, you’re familiar with looking for patterns and trends. Patterns are the product of an analytical mind.

No matter your background, the journey for everyone starts at the same place — prepping and blending data, we repeat, prepping and blending data, we repeat. Everyone starts with the data preparation process whether it’s in Excel for small data sets, big legacy statistics tools like SAS, or the simplicity and ease of combining multiple data sources in Alteryx. And, it’s likely that after majoring in descriptive analytics, you’ll naturally want to progress into deeper kinds of analysis.


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