“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories—tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.” – Dan Heath
The direct interpretation is that data holds stories that need to be told within it and without those stories, data is meaningless.
It also means that before you seek data, you need to be open to the story it will tell. This is important because most times we choose the story we want to tell and then go in search of only data that supports it; this is otherwise called confirmation bias.
If we approach data through the lens of storytelling, then it is just as important to understand the rudiments.
Let us start with kindergarten.
Your journey with data needs to start with the ABCs or in data jargon, the 3 Vs – volume, velocity, and variety.
Volume – The amount of data.
Velocity – The speed at which data is generated, distributed, and collected.
Variety – The types of data – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured.
Start small. The greatest storytellers tell the simplest stories.
Microsoft Excel is one of the best gifts you can have on the data journey, because it is a tool that can help you navigate from kindergarten to Ph.D. level data.
“Microsoft Excel is one of the greatest, most powerful, most important software applications of all time.” – James Kwak
I will not be able to cover the rudiments of Microsoft Excel in this article, but a good resource provided by the Corporate Finance Institute is linked here – A “Dummies” Guide to Excel for Beginners
There are also many good YouTube videos you can utilize.
There are a few things to remember as you study. Like with all new learning –
- It is hard at the start, but the start is the hardest it will ever be. Keep going.
- “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” – Zig Ziglar. The boredom that comes with repetition is the implantation of the learning in your subconscious, to be brought back at will like a reflex action.
- You lose what you stop using. Set out a part of your day to work with the tool. Use the 5 minutes rule – commit to spending 5 minutes a day learning Microsoft Excel and you will be shocked how the 5 minutes stretches out into a productive session.
- “To teach is to learn twice.” – Joseph Joubert. Teach someone what you learn. There is always someone in your space that you can teach.
- Reward yourself for progress.
Cheers to the journey.
#MEMBA11 #DA #Zazparelli