That Giant Sucking Sound You Heard Is it Your Data

Nature abhors a vacuuum. So does data analytics. The whole idea behind collecting and analyzing data is to answer questions within some kind of context and, thus, enable decisions to be made--hopefully, better decisions than those made without the data.


So, it only stands to reason that the more relevant data you collect, the better analysis and decisioning you can make--as long as you don't succumb to "analysis paralysis," of course. To this end, successful outcomes require data collection and preparation to go hand-in-hand with your analytics efforts.

So, how do you collect more and better data that is relevant to your context? For starters, you might expand the number of data collection points within your current monitoring systems. You could also arrange to share or purchase data from third-party sources. Or you can re-visit previously untapped data archives that you already have on-site. Any or all of these solutions might be reasonable for your situation, and executing them over time can result in some convoluted data environments and workflows that would make Rube Goldberg proud, especially in a siloed enterprise. And it is with such environments in mind that effective data integration becomes extremely important to maintain any semblance of efficiency.

Subscribers to our Statistica newsletter (yes, you can subscribe for free) already got a tip for an effective data integration solution, because the October/November issue contains a link to a helpful and detailed how-to article highlighting Statistica's new connection with Dell Toad: “The Smart Data Analyst’s Tool Set.” Authors Robert Pound and Scott Burk explain that analytics follows the age-old 20/80 rule that pervades all human activity: data analysis is only 20 percent of your work, while the upstream data preparation--the aforementioned collection, integration and cleansing--consumes the other 80 percent. The key to success here is the comprehensive capability of Toad Data Point and Toad Intelligence Central (TIC) which can now be accessed easily from within the enterprise editions of Statistica 12.7 and 13.0.

The last thing you want is for your analytics projects to be overwhelmed or undermined by the complexity of so many disparate data sources. Of course, you need those sources in order to escape the pull of the data vacuuum and make the most of your decision-making context, so you probably shouldn’t ignore them. Thankfully, Statistica and Toad combine to make the process simple and relevant.