5 essential characteristics for a great data analyst

A few week’s back I wrote about the data translator – a role on the data science team that bridges the gap between the data scientist and the business. That got me thinking – what are the characteristics (that may be less obvious) that make for a good data analyst? 1. Intellectual curiosity and focus…

big data visualisation

Q and A on Data & Analytics

Let’s define data and analytics and how specifically they are interpreted within the business context. Within a business context, many people consider data and information to be one and the same. While one can argue the definition of each, when talked of in conjunction with analytics, data becomes a resource to be interrogated for a…

Big data or big disaster?

When I first started posting about big data, very few users existed in South Africa. Today, most last organisations have a Hadoop data lake – in many cases replacing traditional ETL and/or acting as a data archive as well as a feeder to the enterprise data warehouse and, various operational data marts. In a few,…

data-driven

What does it mean to be data-driven?

Following on last week’s post inspired partly by Dr Barry Devlin’s article on the role of data (facts) vs intuition (emotion) in decision making. What does it mean to be data-driven? The term has been coined to describe decision making that is guided by analytics. Wikipedia defines data-driven to mean that progress in an activity…

christmas decorations

Understanding the customer journey

So here we are, give or take, two weeks from Christmas. For many businesses the next few weeks are some of the most profitable of the year. Retailers can bump prices up a few percentage points, secure in the knowledge that the shopping frenzy will continue. Hoteliers and airlines can add a premium too –…

Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor_Japanese_planes_view

Preconceived ideas lead to big data failures!

7 December 2014 is the 53rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbour that brought the United States into the Second World War. It is Sunday – just as it was 53 years ago. The attack saw the Japanese strike a significant blow against the US Pacific fleet sinking…