Metaphors are an easy way to understand complex concepts. When talking about data, it is natural for the listener to try to make such a broad term more tangible. Taking it one step further, when venturing into Big Data people tend to lose focus as a natural byproduct of their mind going into overdrive. But data speaks, and our job is to help you understand its language.
Imagine an unfolding story
Like all stories there is a main character. Similarly, data analysis uncovers peaks that define patterns which could be identified as the main character in the story. In keeping with this analogy, there are also valleys within data sets, which in contrast are identified as the villain. A good example of this is sales of a product (the hero or main character) which have been declining in the past quarter (the villain).
Find the plot
Identifying the causes within data through analysis resembles the beginning of a movie, when the viewer is figuring out what the story is about. Data automation makes this process even easier by providing analysis based on transactional and behavioral data from, for example, a set of customers which shows a problem in their shopping behavior. If we take the same example, we can determine that the reasons sales have been declining in the past quarter were not associated with the product, but to the costs associated with the delivery of it.
Make it a happy ending
Automation has made great advancements, leveraging AI and machine learning to hypothesize and create possible solutions through algorithms. This can be compared to the hero ‘putting in the work’ to achieve her happily ever after. By using collected data for predictive models, you not only allow stakeholders to identify solutions, but you optimize to save time and money. Predictive models can flag demographic information from transactional data which can be used to find more cost-effective shipping solutions, which will most likely increase sales for the upcoming quarter.
Humanizing data is a step leaders must take in order to destigmatize it across the organization, the same way directors present clues throughout the story line for the viewer to process, analyze and determine the outcome. When time is put into understanding the data story, getting to know the hero or the main character’s hopes and fears, understanding the plot, and rolling out solutions that can be positive, leaders develop a deeper, more human connection to their opportunities moving forward.