New technology has made data collection faster and easier, and the growth in multiple storage options has led to the compilation of all sorts of information. Everything from web users’ online behavior to confidential medical information is collected and housed in on-premises or cloud-based databases. The raw data, if properly analyzed, contains answers to questions that range from “What are the characteristics of a successful marketing campaign?” to “Which lifestyle choices result in increased longevity?”
Creative data analysis makes it possible to identify patterns, which then promotes better decision making. In many cases, the results are unexpected. For example, in 2012, Walmart examined consumer behavior before hurricanes to determine which supplies to stock in advance of impending bad weather. In addition to obvious items like flashlights, bottled water, and batteries, analysts discovered that individuals preparing for hurricane-force winds tend to purchase higher quantities of strawberry Pop-Tarts. This product was added to the emergency supply shelves going forward, and Walmart enjoyed a windfall of extra sales.
As the amount of data collected grows ever larger, the skills required to find meaningful patterns have grown more complex. In fact, many businesses and agencies are hiring data scientists for the sole purpose of mining enormous quantities of information and analyzing the results to create evidence-based recommendations. Unfortunately, the skills required for successful data analysis are in short supply, reducing many companies’ ability to make the most of their valuable data collections. While a number of solutions have been proposed to close the data analysis skills gap, the fact is that eventually, most jobs will require some ability to conduct big data analysis for evidence-based decision making.
However, there is some good news in that this shortage of skills has led to the growth of technology products that enable self-service business intelligence. Some of the most innovative technology companies such as Google, Amazon, and Tableau are stepping in to bridge the gap with user-friendly platforms that simplify the data analysis process and provide dashboards where data is already mined to present complex and large amounts of data in an easy to understand and simple manner using graphs, charts, and dashboards. We cannot overestimate the importance of such solutions to help augment the skills of information workers and help them be more nimble and data-oriented while making better business decisions.
However, there is still a gap when it comes to accessing the raw data that can be further converted into beautiful dashboards. While other companies are solving the data visualization problem, it is our mission in Kloudio to democratize data access. As part of that, we have built features into our product that simplify data access from any data source – databases, enterprise applications, or even web services for use by any user, technical or not!
Kloudio makes it possible to leverage data through a popular spreadsheet and database software. Most users are already comfortable with these applications, which have been a part of office life for decades.
Empowering all users, regardless of skill level, to access, analyze, and update data levels the playing field and ensures that everyone benefits from the extraordinary increase in data collection. To know more about how Kloudio does this by enabling data access through Excel, Google Sheets, Slack, or even Amazon Echo, schedule a demo here.
Have anything to add to this article? Feel free to comment below.