The Process

When approaching Big Data, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. At Small Business Analytics, we work hard to keep our eyes on the ball, so we can leverage maximum results for your organization.

Generally speaking, we rely on a consistent six-step rolling process.

Step 1: Define your questions.

We begin by exploring the big picture with you. We want to understand your organization and the people/markets it serves. What efficiencies do you hope to achieve? What is changing in your area of work? We’ll start with a 30,000-foot view of your work, then drill down to specific areas of data inquiry.

Step 2: Think about what you already know.

You’ll be surprised to learn how much information is buried within your own organization. Over time, data may become dispersed across an enterprise, or lost in a simple failure to recognize and communicate its existence. Once all data sources are identified, we’ll work to help your team ensure its reliability and accuracy.

Step 3: Get a first look at what your data suggest.

Data come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some data are numeric and come in rows and columns, while other data may be presented in text or images such as charts, graphs and maps.  We think all forms can have some value.  We’ll often start by joining two or more data sets together, cleansing data of outliers and missing observations, or reformatting data for consistency.

Step 4: Start playing with your information. 

Once we know what the data say, we can start to sort and classify it, or even use it to predict future outcomes. We’ll help you build data models, which apply algorithms to identify any patterns or valuable information within your data.

Step 5: Decide what’s worth keeping.

Now it’s time to determine how valuable your model is, and how you can use it to build your bottom line.  We’ll offer mathematical techniques to measure the strength of the model, and help you apply your operational knowledge—which is not mathematically measurable—to see whether various models are worth using.

Step 6: Start generating results!

Once you have identified your questions, prepared your data and created a model that is useful, it is time to hit the ground running.  In this phase, we’ll help you start the wheels in motion and begin using your results.  We’ll help you show its value to every member of your team, and help you integrate it into your existing management and operational practices.  Finally, new information learned from the model is fed back into the model to improve accuracy and performance and there is continuous monitoring and measuring of the model’s outcomes.

Ready to learn more?  Contact us.