A2 Academy: Make Sure It's Good Data

The advice seems self-evident; when doing analytics you want to start with good data sources and the right data. But, um, we've all seen instances where the wrong data led people down the wrong road. Sometimes it's impossible to get back on the right track once bad data has tainted people's brains.

Something as simple as one vague question being asked in a survey can skew the results of any analysis that later references that survey. Or, perhaps someone forgot to look at who funded and directed a survey for their own marketing purposes. It happens.

Daniel Gutierrez
Daniel Gutierrez

Today in All Analytics Academy, Analytics for All, we're focusing on data, and what everyone involved with analytics -- from data geek to business owner -- needs to understand about Finding Data Sources and Ensuring That It's Good Data. Data scientist Daniel Gutierrez of Amulet Analytics is our guest presenter. Be sure to join us at 2 pm EDT.

Daniel says his mantra is simple: Find sources of appropriate data to accomplish the business goals, build a data pipeline to clean and transform the data, repeat above steps constantly.

I'll add that carefully crafted algorithms, insightful conclusions, and stunning visualizations mean nothing if the data was flawed or drawn from a biased report. Bad data is the bad seed.

You will hear Daniel discuss how to find the data that is right for your organization's specific challenges, whether you are trying to solve a problem or take the business to the next level.

You also have to consider whether you need your data source to be sustainable. Are you doing a one-time report? Or, do you need to feed a dashboard with data that changes weekly or throughout the business day?

Daniel will walk you through some of the best practices that he has built up in advising organizations that were just getting started with analytics or perhaps seeking to expand their analytics strategy with new applications or advanced analytics such as predictive analytics.

If you missed the first session in our A2 Academy on Tuesday, business intelligence and analytics expert Claudia Imhoff provided a hour-long overview of key considerations that you will face throughout an analytics initiative. She covered the process from getting management and employee buy-in to effective presentation of results.

You can catch up on the Academy program by viewing Claudia's presentation in on-demand mode: Creating the Analytically Driven Organization. And, be sure to join Daniel today at 2 pm.

Then, next Tuesday, James Haight of Blue Hill Research, will share advice on moving through the analytics continuum, from descriptive analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics. Then, on Thursday, consultant Meta S. Brown will talk about recruiting, training, and retaining analytics talent, including the opportunities to find analytics talent within your existing employees. Finally, Jack Phillips of the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) will wrap up the Academy program on June 21 with a discussion on how to build a culture of analytics in your organization.

You can view all of the course descriptions and register right here.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Step One: Good Data
  • 6/14/2016 6:18:12 PM

Sorry I had to miss the show but I will definitely be listening to the replay! Its an important discussion about an age old issue. Research and analytics needs to be performed by those who are experts in the field designing the research often determines the success of the analytics. Poor design , poor data gathering, meaningless results. Many companies still try to bypass the step of hiring an experienced analytics professional only to regret it with the loss of valuable resources.

Re: Step One: Good Data
  • 6/13/2016 5:27:55 PM

Very important subject and have it marked on my calendar. The article noted appropriate data. That resonate with me, as the tendency is to gather as much as possible with the more the better approach and that's the wrong approach.

Re: Step One: Good Data
  • 6/12/2016 5:46:30 PM

I'm looking to the upcoming classes. There's always something new to learn in this arena!

Re: Step One: Good Data
  • 6/11/2016 3:07:44 AM

hey Louis 

I am too facing the same problem for analyzing big data for my company as it is not so accurate 

Step One: Good Data
  • 6/9/2016 1:08:43 PM

I am really looking forward to this A2 class.  Bad Data makes every subsequent action meaningless so I look forward to learning how one can make sure the data is as close to "Good" as possible before one invests time and expense in the effort to use it.


I hope to see many from the A2 community there as well as those who read A2 material from afar.

A2 Academy- Claudia Imhoff
  • 6/9/2016 12:55:38 PM

Thank you to Claudia Imhoff for a very informative A2 Academy presentation. Looking forward to this afternoons presentation.