Data Analysis Skills and Thinking

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Introduction

Data analysis skills and thinking are important in making strategic decisions. They help to understand different patterns, solve problems, and select more essential information. Data analysis improves the company’s business process and lead to better outcomes. In order to generate cost savings and improve the quality of service a special tool such as Six Sigma is commonly used. This paper tends to show that in order to make sound decisions and implement effective strategies analysis plays an essential role in business. The ability to understand what data is meaningful and which is not is one of the most important management skills. In order to achieve the company’s success, managers and business owners should be knowledgeable and thoughtfulness about data analysis skills and thinking.

Why is Data Analysis Important?

While running a business, every its owner thinks how to make profits. However, the intensified competition often does not allow a business man to get as high profits as he expected. In order to achieve the company’s goal, a careful data analysis should be provided. Business owners who conduct a very intense data analysis and thinking are able to conquer the markets and receive high profits. It is rather important to investigate what goods and services would have a sharp demand in the market. Data analysis may help gather information regarding requests and demands in the marketplace. This information would be very useful to identify positive and negative features of business operations. Bozarth and Handfield (2012) emphasized that data analysis and thinking empower business owners with essential knowledge and information that should be used in annual planning. It also gives a perfect opportunity for future profitable growth.

How to Gather Data Analysis Skills?

In order to provide excellent data analysis, the analyst should obtain both soft and technical skills. A person who conducts data analysis should obtain the following technical skills:
•    He or she should know basic knowledge of statistics.
•    Predictive modelling techniques (e.g. regression, decision trees, and
Clustering)  hould be obtained by a data analyst.
•    In order to provide effective data analysis a person who is responsible for it should have perfect computer skills that could help him work with different computer programs and languages (e.g. Excel, SAS, R, APSS, etc.).

Soft skills help understand business needs. That is why the following skills should be developed in a person:
•    The ability to define problems. By doing so, an analyst could identify the methods of his investigation.
•    To be aware what kind of audience she or he should deal with.
•    Perfect predictive skills may inforce delivery and improve the company’s success.

Bozarth and Handfield (2012) argued that the more a particular skill is used, the more quickly and accurately the skill will be executed. Thinking can master skills and implement it to the real life practice. Special trainings could help master data analysis skills.

A Business Process Improvement

The research asserts that companies need data analysis for business improvement (Antony, Kumar and ‎ Bañuelas, 2006). Six Sigma is a tool that is mainly used to improve business process. It minimizes mistakes and allows the company to achieve a business goal. The companies that use Six Sigma benefit from the better quality, because they are able to eliminate errors and defects in manufacturing. As a rule, an organization that follows Six Sigma provides special management methods that serve to improve business. Several studies have shown that experienced and skillful people should be hired to implement qualified methods. These experts develop special programs that help to solve different problems within an organization. For example, their efforts can reduce process cycle time, costs, pollution, and increase customer satisfaction and profits.

This special infrastructure of people maintains stable growth, provides control, and leads the company to the business success. Six Sigma methodologies are developed to identify opportunities for the company’s improvement and growth. It also focuses on financial returns of the organization as well as empowers managers to provide efficient leadeership skills that help employees to demonstrate better productivity. Six Sigma methodologies identify important decisions that are based on a clear commitment to the organizational goals. Critical thinking and perfect professional skills are of the paramount importance for data analytics that cannot rely only on automatically generated results.

Spend Analysis Efforts

While searching for business improvement, many organizations use spend analysis that help analyze and save expenditure, reduce costs, provide planning, budgeting, and maintain product development. Spend analysis comprises three fields such as analysis itself, visibility and process. Companies that can leverage all these three groups can keep under control their spending and find the best ways to generate effective decisions. Spend analysis is a part of spend management that empowers the organization to provide not only spend analysis, but also strategic sources and commodity management.

In order to increase profits and achieve the company’s goal, the analyst should find the answers to the questions that could help him to determine what and with whom he or she is really spending. Furthermore, it would be useful to define whether it is got what was expecting to get. In order to keep under control its finance, an organization should provide an effective spend management.

Conclusion
Data analysis skills and thinking help improve the company’s business process and lead to better outcomes. In order to generate cost savings, to make sound decisions and implement effective strategies, a special tool, such as Six Sigma, is commonly used. Data analysis skills are a must in identifying what data is meaningful. Finally, finance that is the core of any business should be involved in data analysis in order to maintain financial stability and future profits. Every organization should provide a collaborative work of all units in order to reach their goal. Communication and interaction are essential tools for perfect data analysis. Involving all functional areas of the business (e.g. finance, human resource, management, etc.), the company leads personnel to better business achievements. Finally, data analysis requires not only the factual data, but also critical thinking of the staff.

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