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Posts Tagged ‘data analytics’

6 key data quality dimensions: insights and practical application

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Data Quality Dimensions

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One of the most common challenges faced by professionals in measuring performance is gathering data for key performance indicator (KPI) results, as indicated by 12% of respondents in The KPI Institute’s State of Strategy Management Practice 2022 Report. 

This is particularly important as the collected data is expected to be of high quality and “fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making, and planning,” according to the book “Modern Data Strategy,” by Mike Fleckenstein and Lorraine Fellows. Drawing from its advisory experience, The KPI Institute recommends employing the following data quality dimensions as a framework for assessing your data (see Figure 1).

Data Quality Dimensions

Figure 1. Data Quality Dimensions | Source: Certified KPI Professional training program

Overcoming issues with data quality dimensions

Figure 2 highlights a dataset that has encountered significant data quality issues. Through an initial audit, several faulty elements have been identified, revealing potential inaccuracies that could have an adverse impact.  This section presents approaches for effectively resolving these faulty elements to improve data reliability.

Figure 2. Sample quality troubled dataset | Source: The KPI Institute

A – Completeness: There is a missing value in the Actual Result column. One way to prevent this is to develop and utilize a data collection template that clearly outlines the necessary data fields. It is also important to regularly review the completeness of the data and address missing information that affects analysis.

B – Consistency: The structure of the data does not correspond with the template, the name, and the position of the Data Custodian being switched. To prevent this issue, one must make sure the data presents the same values across different systems and follows the same structure.

Read more: All about that data – sources and collection methods

C – Timeliness: This issue pertains to the data being received after the specified deadline. One potential solution is to establish a data collection cycle time and set clear deadlines for data submission. Communicating these deadlines to all relevant parties and sending reminders for data submission can also help address this issue.

D – Conformity: The KPI is expressed as a percentage rate, but the data provided for the result includes a numerical value. To ensure conformity, organizations must provide clear guidelines on data format and how the KPI should be calculated.

E – Accuracy: This issue concerns the usage of an inappropriate sign. The KPI measures a rate, but the sign used in the KPI name is “$.” To ensure accuracy, one should make sure the data reflects real information, including the use of appropriate units. To adhere to accuracy, The KPI Institute developed a naming standard, which designates the symbols ”#” for units, ”%” for rates, and ”$” specifically for monetary value.

Read more: Why is data integration important and how can we achieve it?

Managing data quality dimensions and KPIs

Maintaining data quality is essential to generate meaningful and effective KPIs. Reliable data ensures that business decisions are based on trustworthy information, resulting in improved marketing, increased customer satisfaction, enhanced internal processes, and reduced costs.

On the other hand, unreliable data can cause significant challenges. KPIs based on inaccurate data lead to wrong decisions, resulting in wasted resources and a negative impact on the organization’s performance. Poor data quality can impede the identification of trends or the accuracy of forecasts, leading to missed opportunities. In addition, it can hold back innovation, causing businesses to lose competitiveness. 

Therefore, it is recommended that organizations prioritize data quality management and take actions to assess and improve data quality to enhance KPIs and drive business success.

Enhance your understanding of KPIs and read more about them on our KPI section.

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This article was originally published in Performance Magazine: Issue No. 26, 2023 – Data Analytics edition.

How managers and executives stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in data analytics

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The field of data analytics is very important nowadays, considering how the business environment is going through continuous developments in terms of technology, innovation, globalization and sustainability. The field also faces various economic struggles and unexpected challenges. For these reasons, managers and executives must remain up-to-date with information and data to make the best decisions for their organizations and maintain their competitive advantage in the market by creating value for clients. 

To do so, I recommend managers and executives join different professional groups on LinkedIn where they can ask questions and discuss any challenges they are facing. They should also have subscriptions to various research journals and business magazines. It also helps to attend conferences where they can meet researchers and professionals from both the academic and business worlds. 

Furthermore, following business blogs, watching podcasts, and reading books are valuable methods to gather new data to make informed decisions. By being part of professional groups on social media and attending conferences, managers and executives can find out in real-time the challenges other leaders face, discuss them, and take on new ideas for implementation as early as the next day. These communities of managers and executives are valuable assets in today’s challenging business environment.

7 key steps to build a data team from scratch

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Despite the continuous hype around data analytics and the rapid acceleration of data technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), most companies are lagging behind with low data capabilities and no in-house data team in place. These companies have their data either fully unleveraged or marginally analyzed by executives on the side of their jobs to produce limited reports. 

In such a situation, pushing the organization up the hill of data maturity would require building a team of data-specialized personnel. Building such a team can be daunting, as every company would have different conditions and no one way can fit all cases. However, covering the following main grounds can help cut miles on the road to building a data team from the ground up.

First, nurture the environment and plant the seeds. Data teams cannot grow in a vacuum. To prepare the organization to become data-driven with a data team, enhancing the organizational data culture is a good starting point. Having employees at all levels with a data-driven mentality and an understanding of the role of data analytics can significantly prepare the room for the planned team.

Second, connect with stakeholders and recognize priority needs. Carrying out data culture programs inside the organization can open up opportunities to have meaningful discussions with stakeholders on different levels about their data needs, what they already do with data, and what they want to achieve, in addition to having better insights into the pre-existing data assets. This is a good stage to recognize the organization’s data pain points, which would then be the immediate and strategic objectives of the future data team.

Third, define the initial structure of the team. According to the scale of the organization and the identified needs, data teams can have one of three main structures:

  • Centralized: This involves having all data roles within one team reporting to one head, chief data officer (CDO), or a similar role. All departments in the organization would request their needs from the team. This is a straightforward approach, especially for small-size companies, but can end up in a bottleneck if not scaled up continuously to meet the organization’s growing needs.
  • Decentralized: This requires disseminating all data roles and infusing them into departmental teams. This mainly aims to close the gap between technical analysis and business benefits as analysts in every team would be experts in their functional areas. However, the approach may lead to inconsistencies in data management and fragile data governance.
  • Hybrid: This consists of having governance, infrastructure, and data engineering roles within a core team, along with embedding data analysts, business analysts, and data scientists in departmental teams. The allocated personnel would report to the respective department head as well as the data team head. This approach combines the benefits of both centralized and decentralized structures and is usually applicable in large organizations as they require more headcount in their data teams.

Fourth, map the necessary tech stack and data roles. As the previous stages have uncovered the current uses and needs of data in an organization, it should be easier to start figuring out the tech tools that the team would be initially working with. Mapping the needed tech stack would be the first pillar before moving on to the hiring process. The second pillar would involve defining the roles that the team would need in its nascent stage to meet the prioritized objectives.

Several data job titles can be combined in a data team, with many of them having specializations that intersect with or bisect each other. However, there are three main role areas that should be considered for starting data teams:

  • Data engineering: implementing and managing data storage systems, integrating scattered datasets, and building pipelines to prepare data for analysis and reporting
  • Data analysis: performing final data preparation and extracting main insights to inform decision-making
  • Data science: building automated analysis and reporting systems, usually concerned with predictive and prescriptive machine learning models

Fifth, follow step-by-step team recruitment. Hiring new employees for the data team is one option. The other option can be upskilling existing employees with an interest in a data career and with minimum required skills. Even employees with just interest and no minimum required skills can be reskilled to fill some roles, especially within an initial data team.

The team does not need to take off with full wings. It can start small and gradually grow. Typically, data teams would start with data analysts who have extra skills in data engineering, data engineers who have experience with ad-hoc analyses and reporting, or a limited combination of both. In later stages, other titles can join onboard. 

The baby-step-building approach is more convincing for stakeholders as it can be more efficient from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective. Starting with a full-capacity team may end up being too costly for the organization, which could lead to the budding project being cut off in its prime.

Sixth, deliver ad-hoc analyses, heading towards long-term projects. In the beginning, data analytics experts at the organization would be expected to answer random requests and solve urgent data-related problems, like developing quick reports and reporting on-spot metrics. This is a good point to prove how data personnel can be of direct benefit to the organization.

However, along with delivering said ad-hoc requests, the data team should have strategic goals to enhance and develop the overall data maturity of the organization, like organizing, integrating, and automating the analytics processes and installing advanced predictive models. These long-term projects should foster the organization’s data maturity, which should result in ad-hoc requests being less frequent as all executives should be self-sufficient in using the installed automated reports and systems. In such a data-mature environment, the team would have time to advance their data products continuously, opening up new benefit opportunities.

Seventh, fortify the team’s presence. Strategic projects with shorter implementation periods and more immediate impact should be prioritized over longer ones, especially in the beginning. That would help continuously prove the benefits of the data team and the point of its foundation. Owning the products of the data team by having its name on it can help remind decision-makers of the team’s benefit. In addition, it is highly useful for the data team’s head to have access to top managerial levels to keep promoting the team’s presence and expansion.

Building a data team from scratch requires careful planning, investment, and commitment from organizational leadership. By following these guidelines and adapting them to their specific needs, organizations without prior data capabilities can establish a robust data team capable of driving innovation and offering a competitive advantage through data-driven insights.

How can governments leverage data to improve performance?

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Islam Salahuddin is a data analyst with a strong focus on storytelling and data visualization, growing statistical knowledge, and developing a set of technical skills and tools. As an expert in data analysis at The KPI Institute, Islam leads the generation of research on the domain of data analytics and the development of business analytics toolkits.

Future-forward: using data analytics in app development

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Jino Noel is a data science and technology leader with extensive experience in building data teams and practices across different organizations. His experience ranges from working in startups to large conglomerates across both Australia and the Philippines. At the time of this interview, he was the Chief Data Officer at Data Analytics Ventures, Inc. (DAVI). Currently, he is the Chief Data Officer at Angkas.

What are the key skills that a Chief Data Officer should possess nowadays?

A Chief Data Officer should have both data-related technical expertise as well as people leadership skills. Leading will always be part of the job, particularly for highly specialized technical people such as data engineers and data scientists. To be able to lead them properly, I believe it is better to be a technical person myself, so I can discuss technical matters fluently, which helps me gain their trust.

What data-related challenges have you faced as the Chief Data Officer of DAVI? How did you overcome these challenges?

Our data-related challenges are the same as any company. Being able to trust our data, cleaning up data from our sources, data latencies, and other related issues. DAVI overcame these by investing in people—hiring high-quality experts in our data engineering, data governance, and analytics teams to help us make sense of the data coming in—and building robust data pipelines that have increased the standard of quality of the data in our data lake.

How does DAVI make use of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help its clients understand their customers’ needs and buying patterns?

DAVI has recently started using machine learning to model our users’ propensity to buy certain products. This helps us create more accurate target audiences for our precision marketing campaigns. We are also moving forward with a recommendation engine project, with the goal of improving user engagement with our retail partners and with our promos and campaigns. On top of this, we are improving our machine learning operations expertise to make our model deployments repeatable and robust.

In the digital marketplace, data analytics acts as a guiding compass for app developers, enabling the creation of personalized, high-performing applications that align with user preferences. By leveraging data, developers can understand nuanced user behaviors and preferences, allowing them to tailor apps to meet specific user needs and aspirations.

Dive deeper into these discussions by reading Jino Noel’s full interview with The KPI Institute. Download the free digital copy of PERFORMANCE Magazine Issue No. 26, 2023 – Data Analytics on the TKI Marketplace. You can also purchase a  physical copy via Amazon

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