Analysis would be ineffective without explanation. Communicating the findings from data collection eventually leads to the business strategies that can foster a significant increase in ROI. However, many analytics firms spend an overwhelming amount of time on data preparation rather than actual communication of their analysis to their clients. While preparation is obviously crucial in successful treatment of data collection, there are many ways in which it can be streamlined to help expedite the process. The emphasis of analytics should be on providing aid to a client’s business decisions and quantified results rather than inflating its process.
While we can understand the cumbersome task of organizing an enormous amount of data, analytics firms have no excuse for spending the majority of their time simply preparing data. According to a survey of 186 data analyst respondents by the Blue Hill Research Group, “analysts spend between 40%-60% of their time just working to get their data to ‘play nice.’”1 While these analysts are preparing the numbers, precious time is wasted on providing viable business solutions in real-time.
Much of this time can be retrieved, however, through a thoughtful consideration to different techniques of data preparation. While spreadsheets are the go-to solution for resolving issues of data collection, there are many more ways now in the digital age to provide business insights in a shorter amount of time. In this critical period, it is essential that CIO’s consider what other tools are out there that can increase ROI and the overall viability of the corporation.
(1) Blue Hill Research. “How Data Analysts Actually Spend Their Time (and Other Findings),” August 25, 2015.