Being Analytically Mature
Data are everywhere. Whether you are a data analyst consultant, a business owner, marketing director, consumer, or parent, there is no professional or personal role that does not deal with data. It may not require the use of numbers or math, but everyone encounters facts and information to make decisions based on their process of reasoning. Being analytically mature does not mean you are merely awesome with numbers and calculations. It's a mindset, a philosophy, a culture.
A good analyst has a toolbox of skills that allow him or her to organize quantitative and qualitative data and translate them into actionable insights. But not everybody is a trained analyst. Analytical maturity comes not from the possession of these skills but from the approach to problem-solving. We all have different levels of technical data analysis skills. You may be comfortable with using Excel to create reports. You may just read reports created by others. You may be a statistical ninja. Being analytically mature is having a desire to collect and use information to make the best decision. Do you formulate and test different hypotheses? Do you use web analytics to improve the experience on your website? Do you dig into your transactional data to find actionable patterns?
The business that is analytically mature is one that strives to collect and use data to its advantage. It requires a culture that values high quality data and analysis. It may or may not possess the requisite skill set for high quality data analysis, but it does possess the desire to obtain and retain those skills by investing in people and technology. Whether it's an investment in training, software, new employees or consultants, there is a solution for businesses of all sizes to be analytically skilled. Being analytically mature requires a vision from leaders to incorporate data and implement these solutions into the problem-solving and decision-making framework.