Data analyst might sound like a forbiddingly technical job title, but the truth is most of us do a little data analysis every day. Ever check to see how many likes your latest selfie got on Instagram? You’re using data analytics! You probably have some kind of ballpark idea in your mind about what constitutes a “good” amount of likes. How you arrived at that ballpark figure is a little subconscious pattern recognition – egopowered data analytics.
How do you know whether or not you can afford, say, an expensive new outfit, or tickets to a concert? You know how much money you have currently, but you probably don’t know, exactly, what your income and expenses will be in the near future. Instead you have a general idea, based on how much you usually make, and how much you usually spend. When you’re figuring out what you can and cannot afford, you’re using data analytics to make an educated guess about the state of your finances.
For brands, there is a lot of money in figuring out what kinds of content will get the most likes. For just about any company, there is a lot of value in figuring out likely expenditures, of being able to project costs or revenue – or model any number of other data sets that might inform business decision making. BrainStation’s Data Analytics course helps you take the basic data analytics skills that you probably already use, and apply them in a structured manner for personal and professional development.
Breakthroughs in communication technology have made it possible to access an incredible amount of data quickly and in expensively. There’s a word for this: Big Data. In the age of Big Data, data analytics has become such a varied field that listing out everything it touches would be a Herculean project. I have, though, created a short list of some ways data analytics is changing the world. Some of them might surprise you:
Data analytics has long been used to determine which shows survive, and which ones get cancelled . Networks use the Nielsen Rating, as core that uses statistical sampling to determine what people are watching, who is watching it, and for how long. The rates that advertisers pay to air commercials on TV programs is based on Nielsen’s data – next time you get angry about the unjust cancellation of your favorite show, you have data analytics to blame!
Data analytics is actually starting to influence not just whether or not shows survive, but what shows get made in the first place. Streaming video gives content distributors far greater access to data than telephone surveys can, which is in turn opening up new ways to utilize data. Netflix famously used a data driven approach when deciding to produce House of Cards.
To some extent, sports fans have always been data analytics freaks. Famous athletes are remembered for their stats as much as they are for individual games.