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5 Analytics Resolutions For 2014

Most of us could stand to be a little better and do a little more -- and what a better time to think about how to make that happen than the dawn of a new year?

Needing a break from the taxing job of pulling together my personal New Year's resolutions, I started to think about ways in which analytics professionals could improve themselves for the year ahead. Here are a few quick ideas.



1. Do data for good. You have analytical smarts to share, so undertake one project in 2014 that will help make a difference to the world around you. Think small and personal -- volunteering to develop a spreadsheet program for your child's school, creating a database for the pet shelter you like, or helping a local club analyze its social media activity. Or, think more formalized and of broader scope, perhaps by checking out the project opportunities at organizations like DataKind or helping out with next year's Hour of Code. Perhaps you'll find inspiration in these posts: Needed for Social Good: Bright Data Minds, DataKind's Jake Porway: Inspired by Data Volunteers, and Data Scientists Do Good for Charitable Groups.

2. Liven up your data presentations. Static reports are out, dynamic data visualizations are in. As appropriate, do your best to present data visually. Better yet, give business users the opportunity to interact with the data visualizations you create. Being able to add in or take out variables, for example, will help them see, in an instant, what might happen in any what-if scenario they can imagine. You need to be an advocate for putting this type of power in decision makers' hands. Get guidance in these posts: Data Visualization Dos & Don'ts, 5 Tips to Help SMBs Get Visual With Data, and 4 Quick Tips for Data Visualization Newbies.

Read the rest of this story on All Analytics.

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D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
1/2/2014 | 11:16:43 AM
Teach principles, not programs
Have to agree and lament the teaching of particular, proprietary applications (like the Microsoft Office suite) rather than computing principles in schools. My son has been trained on Word and PowerPoint at school, but they haven't taught him the principles of programming, repeatable applications or the use of data. He has learned more on his own with Lego Mindstorms, for example. Teachers: please be more creative and teach enduring computing concepts, not proprietary programs that will eventually go away.
User Rank: Author
1/2/2014 | 9:01:54 AM
Re: No more Powerpoint
@Whoopty we wish! My kids are still taught Powerpoint in school. I think once the teachers get something, they want to be able to use it for years, no matter that the rest of the world is moving on.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2014 | 6:00:13 AM
Great Information
It's truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
<a href="http://forums.technologysnip.com/">Technology Forum</a>
User Rank: Ninja
1/1/2014 | 10:08:55 AM
No more Powerpoint
It's refreshing to think that my kids will never have to sit through some clip-art filled powerpoint presentation, at work or school. 
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/1/2014 | 5:18:33 AM
Do data for good

What a great idea!

I would also add to not limit yourself to, for instance, volenteer to develop a spreedsheet program for a school just because you don't have a child.

Any school would happily welcome any kind of help. :) 

User Rank: Author
12/31/2013 | 10:40:09 AM
Data visualizations
Good advice here re modernizing data visualizations in your presentations. Any advice you'd like to share with your peers, readers?
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