Data is everywhere, and it can be quite a figurative handful. Before your company can figure out how to use that data, how to pinpoint a select part of it for company purposes, you need a way to collect and organize your raw data.
But if you’re still one of those who thinks that ‘we’re still not there’, think again! Every sector now uses some form of data. Did you know that even Human Resources, the backbone of every business organization, is one of the biggest users of Big Data? According to people hr the majority of the companies are now making a move forward to data analytics to gain insights into personnel trends which can aid staff recruitment, development, performance, and retention.
To expedite collecting and organizing raw data there are things you can use third-party resources and things you can do with your existing spreadsheet programs.
1. Data wrangling
The first thing you can do is work with a third party to help you utilize data wrangling. Your data can help reveal a deeper intelligence if you gather it from multiple sources and analyze it quickly and effectively. Data wrangling can automatically extract data from reports and web pages, then combine the information in a more organized fashion.
The goals of data wrangling
Your business needs actionable data in the hands of your analysts as quickly as possible. One of the biggest waste of time in this regard is collecting and organizing the unruly data. With data wrangling your company can let data analysts focus on analyses while automated services help you to collect and organize data faster and more efficiently. Doing so drives better decision making within your company.
With data wrangling, you start with data acquisition wherein you identify and obtain access to the data that you need from your sources. After that, the data is combined for further use. The data is then redesigned into a more functional and usable format. This process corrects or removes bad data so that your analysts are left with the best information possible.
2. Pivot tables
Another way to collect and analyze data is with pivot tables. Pivot tables are great because they are an existing function within your spreadsheet programs no matter which type of computer or operating system you are using. Big data being all the rage now, many companies are using bigger data sets each day with standard spreadsheets, quickly becoming overwhelmed.
Finding causal relationships and correlations is incredibly difficult without pivot tables. While there is a learning curve, in the end, the logic that powers these tables will enable your analysts to better focus on what is important: analyzing your organized data.
How it works
With a pivot table, you can take something like a keyword difficulty report instead of collecting data manually. For web analytics, keyword difficulty reports can help you save a great deal of time. You enter the keyword you want to target and the program will conduct a search on the word in the search engine of your choice. Then it gathers the metrics and delivers them the next day.
The metrics covered include things like the page authority, the total links, the internal links, external links, followed links, nofollowed links, keyword used in URL, broad keyword usage in title, on-page analysis grade between A and F, linked root domains, anchor text links, keyword exact match, domain authority, Google +1 shares, Facebook shares, Tweets, and much, much more.
Outside of web analytics, you can use it to sort regular company data. Your marketing team is not the only team who can benefit from pivot tables. Sorting accounting data in-house or maintaining tables on personnel or customer information can often be a headache if you have hundreds, even thousands of people with multiple pieces of information.
Such information is often too much data for a regular table. With pivot tables, you can drag and drop your data around as you see fit. You can format the tables you want in a tabular format with proper columns for your categories.
Once you have your tables set up the way you want them, select the pivot table option on your computer and watch as things like a competitive analysis or a mailing list for those customers involved in the restaurant and food or drink industry are generated with only a few clicks. Send out invitations for upcoming PR events based on customer profile data created in your pivot tables.
With this method you can take the data generated for you from reports or from client information and then drag and drop as you see it, reviewing what you need when you need it. Of Course, the certain analysis would require you to get help from data scientists at your firm who can help you make sense of your data. If that’s not a possibility, you can also learn it from a host of online data scientist training courses available out there to make more sense of data.
Overall, both methods can be used to help you gather raw data and organize it so as to provide actionable insights for your company. Finding what works best for your organization might be better of trial and error, but it will be well worth the investment when all is said and done.
Do you have any other simpler ways on how beginners can get more out of data? Share your insights in the comments below.