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Top 4 biggest myths about studying Data Analytics

A phone device held up next to some charts

Regardless of your industry, now is a great time to invest in data analytics training for your team. Here we debunk some of the most common misconceptions.

You may have certain ideas about data analytics, you may believe you have enough info on the subject, and you may think it isn’t relevant to your team.

The truth is all organisations could improve performance if they embraced data analytics. Here are the common myths.

I need a team of data scientists to make the most of data analytics

Having people skilled with data could benefit any team, in today’s digital climate. If data is embraced and fully comprehended by a business, then it can be effective.

Rather than hire outside help, you can upskill your current staff (e.g finance analysts) to be more proficient with data analytics. This will ultimately be more cost effective than bringing in specialist consultants.

Data is best handled by someone with some technical acumen, but also someone who’s already aligned with the business goals.

I need a huge budget

The myth that data analytics is expensive prevents hundreds of companies from successfully leveraging it.

The reality is that data analytics solutions can be cost-efficient, but you need to use an effective data set and train people to interpret it well in order to see that return on investment.

And it’s never been more affordable.

There are three major factors behind these falling prices: the cost of data storage going down, the cost of data analytics software going down, and the ease of collecting data (more data available than ever before).

Beatriz Sanz Saiz, the Global Leader of analytics advisory firm EY, comments:

[Modern analytics] are based on cloud systems and big data architecture, which by definition are quite less expensive than traditional data warehouse systems.

I need “big data”

Big tech companies such as Google and Facebook have been amongst the most successful early adopters of analytics. With it they have generated hundreds of billions in revenue - but you don’t need to be a tech giant to enhance decision making through data analytics.

Dominos pizza, for instance, embraced big data to understand more about individual customers buying patterns. With their data they targeted their audience with specific offers/ products on the right platform (smart tv, smart watch, mobile, social media etc), at the right time.

55-58% of their orders are now made through online channels*. Domino’s has transformed from a pizza restaurant to a technology company that sells pizza!

Harnessing machine learning can be transformational, but for it to be successful, enterprises need leadership from the top.

- Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

Data Analytics leads to job losses

This is the most widely held myth about data analytics - that artificial intelligence will eliminate the need for people to perform certain tasks.

Employees need to stop feeling threatened by AI and instead harness the technology to boost their work. Using data can make certain process more efficient and give you access to a much wider set of possibilities - enhancing the human decision making process.

Certain repetitive, laborious, data entry roles may become less in demand, but this frees up the time and space to gather valuable insights and improve decision making.

Final thoughts

Data Analytics can be a useful tool for any team, working in any business, in any industry. It’s just about ensuring you have an effective data set, and the people who are able to interpret this data can use it as the basis for sound decision making.

Right now, upskilling and training your colleagues/employees in data literacy is paramount, as a deep comprehension of the subject leads to incredible customer/consumer insight.

After all, we need to understand data - to understand human behaviour.

For more information please see our data analytics course page.