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The year was about 1994. Sitting in a Statistics 101 class. The professor wanted to highlight for us students the fact that numbers can be deceiving and that you should always dig deeper. “The average number of kids per family in the U.S is 1.84” he then said. I paused. Thought about that number for a second. My wacky mind started wandering to Biblical times and the Solomon Judgment thinking for one second what would have happened had he actually gone with his idea to tear that poor baby apart and would end with a 0.84 of a baby…. I think I made my point here…. In the world of Analytics, big data, AI, KPIs, dashboards and anything else you bring to the table it seems that we have become a bit too blind, a bit too gullible with the sexy charts we are presented. It seems we believe most of what is presented to us. And I say - dig deeper. Ask more questions. Find out the source. In my line of work, I am seeing lots of data points, graphs and reporting dashboards. Recently, due to a small question about a specific data point, we started digging further and realized the data itself was off and as they say – garbage in, garbage out. So this post is just a quick reminder on how important it is to have the right data in place and not take every picture with data for granted.
3. Invest in the right interface! Not only to visualize the data but rather have the data tell the right story. Too many dashboards (whether on Tableau, Qlik, ZOHO Analytics, DOMO, Periscope etc.) are being under-utilized by us! The users. It is not enough today to simply lay out colorful dashboards with KPIs. Think of yourself looking at your monthly cellular bill. I bet you are thinking to yourself....pretty cool but SO WHAT??? Tell the story, highlight the points you want to highlight and if you can....that's right...touch their emotions while telling the story. Emotional Relevance - remember?
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