Analytics helps you get inspired. You might not even know what questions to ask in the first place. You need to look around at information. Analytics can be done by looking at data on a computer. It can also be done by sitting down and having a conversation over lunch with someone.
When managers go and “get context” by having a bunch of meetings with people what they’re doing is analytics. They’re looking at data. When you work with an expert analyst, that person’s job is to expand the range of your senses and also help you process the information faster.
So, instead of having to individually remember the information and then put it in a spreadsheet yourself and then do something with it, they might have access to the same question that you’re asking people at lunch that was already asked to 10,000 other people and they might be able to summarize and present that for you so that you don’t have to go to 10,000 lunches.
So, what an analyst does is they make absorbing information for the purpose of inspiration much faster Analysts help you get good questions, whereas statisticians bring you good answers. Statisticians bring rigor to the table. When you think you’ve got some inspiration that you are in danger of acting on, you can reach out to a statistician to check whether that conclusion is justified by the evidence and to bring a little bit of caution into your process.
Analytics and looking around at data, whether you do it with the help of an expert or just by eyeballing reality… Analytics will bring you a lot of red herrings. There will be plenty of inspiration, but a lot of it will be nonsense. Separating the nonsense from the real stuff is what statisticians help you do.
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