“Analysis is the art of creation through destruction.”
– P.S. Baber, Cassie Draws the Universe
As a strategic leader, you don’t need to be an expert in business analytics, but you must have solid working knowledge. Hidden within data in your business and externally are the clues to what your most significant problems and often the solutions to those problems. Business analytics enables you to transform data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into insight and action.
I’ll go over the core business analytics tools and concepts you need to build a solid base of working knowledge, including:
Everyone should and can improve at synthesizing analysis. What are the prioritized insights from all the analyses? We spend so much time doing the work we need to spend more time figuring out the insights and implications of the work to the business.
2. Data to Knowledge
Any time you are doing business analysis, you often start with a bunch of raw data. You need first to turn that data into information and then into knowledge. Understanding how to efficiently and effectively transform data into information and then into knowledge is a core business analysis skill everyone needs to develop.
3. Data Analysis
There are so many different types of analysis, but the core analyses make up most of the business analysis you’ll have to do. Learn about trend, variance, sensitivity, pivot tables, correlation, and other business analyses.
4. Pareto Principle
The 80/20 rule is so pervasive in business. Learn what the Pareto principle is and how to do a Pareto analysis. You’ll be astounded how much of your data follows the Pareto principle once you start analyzing data through the Pareto lens.
Not normalizing data is one of the most significant issues in basic business analysis. Often, insights aren’t really insightful because the data hasn’t been properly normalized.
We live in a probabilistic world. Very few things in business are black and white. Learn about the different types of probabilities, the implications to analytics, and how to embrace probabilistic thinking to better your business.
Analytical modeling is a skill very few people do well since very few people undergo the basic training they need to build clean and simple models. Learn the four parameters of any good model to help abstract the world and scenarios into insights. There is even a starter model to download for free.
9. Business Charts
Creating the right chart to highlight analytic insights for your business is a skill everyone needs to have. Understand the portfolio of business charts at your disposal and which ones to use when. There is even a nice free PowerPoint chart template to download.
With the rise of digital, we are in the age of constant experimentation in the pursuit of optimization. Learn the basics of setting up, executing, and driving to insights through experimentation.
One of the most practical yet underutilized strategic analyses is benchmarking different aspects of a business. We’ll go over the different types of benchmarking and some best practices.
Just like all of the sections on this site, you can pick and choose a topic or if you want a nice overview of a section read the topics in order.