An instrument doesn’t make any sound unless someone picks it up and plays it. The quality of the sound is dependent on the skill of the player. The very same clarinet used to make sweet symphonic music that lulls you to sleep can also, in the wrong hands, emit a noisy squeak that would jolt you wide awake.
Like an instrument waiting to be played, your data does not add any business value unless someone picks it up and transforms it into something shareable. Ideally, your data will not only confirm business intuition but also unearth new opportunities. Sometimes, the right visualization can speak so loudly that it can’t be ignored. Your audience wants to feel confident in sharing and explaining the results to others. When you approach building your analytics practice, you can imagine it like assembling your orchestra to play a beautiful piece. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to an entire orchestra right away; individual performances can be just as magnificent!
Start With Data Quality Basics
In order to play sheet music, you must learn each individual note. Once you understand the pieces, you can weave them together into a phrase. Pretty soon, you can showcase each note’s relationship with each other and how they dance together.
Leadership may be asking for insights or answers, but you must intimately understand each individual piece of data first. Take the time to identify any data quality concerns. Once you’re confident in each data source, you can build relationships with each other. Without this step, you’ll be making assumptions that risk producing incorrect information and losing trust, or worse, taking action in the wrong direction.
Establish Clear Roles to Support Collaboration
Each member of the orchestra plays an important role. You do not expect the trombone to sound like a flute, but you do want it to be the best trombone it can be. Each instrument plays its own piece of the song at the right time. The conductor doesn’t make any sound during the performance but directs and brings together the music coming from the others.
There are an ever-growing number of data science tools available and each is good at its piece of the data science process. Find an orchestration tool, like Dataiku, to bring them together. The end users may be completely unaware of all the tools, but they will benefit from each other's strengths. By doing this, you can use the best tools to enhance each role’s skill set while allowing them to collaborate together. This alleviates the need for team members working solo to find the answers they need.
Give Your Data a Premier Debut
The orchestra plays songs that seamlessly evoke an emotional response while simultaneously is made up of intricate relationships between single notes, phrases, and the instruments playing them. The audience doesn’t hear any single note, just the sounds of them together. A simple, well-played song can bring out just as much emotion as a complex piece by Mozart.
Your audience isn’t looking to hear about where the data came from and how many hours it took to transform and create the output. Instead, they want to hear the story hidden inside the big debut. They want to clearly understand what the data is telling them and what actions they can take based on that information. When you prepare a presentation to share your data findings, make your important points clear and concise. Soon, they will be singing along to your song, so make its message simple and worth belting at the top of their lungs.
Data Practice Makes Perfect
Whether your analytics practice feels like a garage band or an orchestra, follow these three tips to have your audience begging for an encore.
- Start with data quality basics. Understand and build trust in your data before presenting the results.
- Establish clear roles to support collaboration. Identify and use the strengths of your resources (both tools and people).
- Give your data a premier debut. A great data science presentation evokes movement in your organization.