Top 9 Mistakes You Should Avoid to Make the Most of Metric Insights
Over 54 million professionals worldwide work dedicatedly in the field of data analytics to gain meaningful metrics insights. Majority of businesses agree that data accessibility is crucial to their success. Moreover, by utlizing data analytics, companies can improve their employee management and customer experience.
However, analyzing data alone is not enough and your need to be aware of the pitfalls involved in the process. Long story short, errors in data analytics can cost a company dearly. Not only does it lead to poor decision-making, but also makes you lose out of critical metrics insights.
In this post, we will look at the most typical mistakes data analysts make and how you can stay clear of them. Let’s begin.
Types of Data Analytics
Data analysis is the art of discovering insights from vast amounts of data. It involves different techniques and objectives but ultimately aims to understand the past, present, or future of a business.
For example, in a VoIP call center, data analysis can be used to:
- Track first call resolution rates over time to see if there has been any improvement.
- Predict call volume for the next month by examining historical call data from previous years.
- Identify inefficiencies that may be impacting call center performance.
Data analysts can also use machine learning algorithms of automation software to expedite the process and make sense of large data sets.
On that note, let's explore the four types of data analytics that businesses can use to gain valuable metrics insights and improve their operations:
Descriptive analytics give an overview of the past happenings in your business, like revenue growth over the past year or number of sales a marketing campaign generated. They are useful for understanding past performance and presenting information to stakeholders.
Building on descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics help answers the question of "why" something happened. This type of analysis is crucial for identifying areas for improvement and taking corrective action.
Predictive analytics involves the utilization of historical data to identify patterns and anticipate forthcoming outcomes. To estimate the expected revenue for the following year based on past growth, you can employ statistical methodologies such as decision trees, regression, and neural networks.
Prescriptive analytics represents the advanced side of data analysis. It uses machine learning and AI to suggest and right course of action based on historical data. It also helps enterprises in making informed and calculated decisions, including but not limited to when to procure surplus inventory based on past instances of increased demand.
9 Common Mistakes Data Analysts Make
Data analysts often encounter challenges when working with data, and there are common mistakes that can impact their productivity and the accuracy of their metrics insights. One of the most common activities that data analysts perform is finding and preparing data, which is also prone to errors. In fact, analysts spend over 44% of their time each week on unsuccessful activities.
Data analysts need to be aware of these mistakes and avoid them if they want to be effective at their job. So, let's look at some of the mistakes in question.
Biased or Inadequate Sample Size
When your sample is biased or too small, you risk missing crucial information and drawing incorrect conclusions. For instance, if you're going to test an app’s functionality with only right-handed people, you will not know of its usability with left-handed people.
Therefore, you must ensure that the sample size is adequate and include a comprehensive set of customers and their preferences to match your target customer demographics.
Unclear Goals and Objectives
Your goals and objectives should guide every aspect of your analysis, from data collection to report writing. Thus, you must establish clear goals and objectives before starting.
For instance, you want to compare the performance of your new multi-line office phone system with the old, then set objectives such as collecting data on key performance indicators, testing for significant differences, and preparing a report for stakeholders.
Misinterpreting Correlation and Causation
It's easy to say that a correlation between two variables means that one is causing the other. However, this isn't always the case. There are various reasons why two variables may correlate:
To determine whether two factors are related, you should examine the context. Are there any other factors that could be responsible for the correlation? Don't assume a connection without conducting additional research.
Using Inappropriate Benchmarks for Comparison
Data analysis involves comparing your results with a benchmark. This benchmark could be a different time period, such as the previous month, or a different organization or product. However, using the wrong benchmark can obscure a genuine increase or decrease in your metric or KPI.
Providing Context to Your Results
When presenting your analytical report, it's important to give your results context to make them more meaningful. This means linking your findings back to your objectives, comparing them to similar studies, and positioning them in the wider market. Context helps both you and your readers interpret your results and understand their significance. To ensure you have the necessary context, conduct thorough market research both before and after your analysis, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
Avoiding Unreliable Data
Data can prove to be an unreliable source of information for many reasons. You may find duplicate or missing data, stumble upon values that are either inaccurate or abnormal, experience rounding errors, or employment of second-hand or outdated data.
Therefore, it is necessary to verify the completeness, uniqueness, consistency, validity, accuracy, and timeliness of your data to ensure quality. You must use the primary data source and avoid utilizing information that is older than a couple of years.
Furthermore, before you start analyzing, you should check your data for any missing values or errors. By adopting such an approach, you can steer clear of reaching conclusions that are built upon incomplete or flawed data.
Data analysts collect data from various sources including spreadsheets (50%), SaaS applications (33%), and cloud databases (40%). However, the data is often expressed in divergent formats.
For instance, some data is presented in percentages while others are presented in fractions. Inconsistently formatted data could impact the accuracy of the analysis, and to avoid this, the data needs to be uniformly labeled and formatted.
This will simplify the categorization and comparison of the data. AutoFormat, a feature available in some programs such as Excel, can automatically format data for the user, therefore ensuring uniformity.
Lack of Understanding of Metrics and KPIs
Before beginning your analysis, it is crucial to understand what constitutes a KPI and which ones are applicable to your research. Additionally, you should provide a brief definition of each metric. Since metrics can have different names and meanings, this can help both you and your readers. For example, "bounce rate" can signify:
- The percentage of website visitors who leave after only viewing one page.
- The percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered to the addresses on your mailing list.
By defining your KPIs beforehand, you can ensure that they are clear and understandable to both you and your audience.
Incorrect Data Visualization
There are several ways to represent data visually, ranging from tables to pie charts. Visualization allows you to identify patterns and correlations more easily and can be used in reports, infographics, and business communication materials. However, selecting the wrong visualization method can create a misleading image of your data.
To choose the appropriate visualization, consider how the data is interrelated and how many variables you are dealing with. You can use color to distinguish between variables or highlight significant findings, as well as size to indicate the value or emphasize the importance. Experiment with various visualization techniques until you find the one that best fits your data.
Data analysis is one of the most crucial areas of your business. By avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above, you can amplify your data analysis and reporting efforts to generate accurate observations and boost operational efficiency to foster financial prosperity.
Want to learn more about metric insights that can improve your business? Get in touch with experts at Growth Natives today and schedule a call to find out more about our Growth Pod Methodology for success.
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