A dashboard is an excellent way to interpret the data in a visual way to get quick insights. A good technique will be through story-telling, where you present the data visually as if you are telling a story. Most tools have rich visuals to help you create the dashboards.
Sample Dashboard (above): A good technique is where the data as presented as if telling a story
If you want to conduct your analysis using an ask-and-tell approach, then you need to ensure that the tool will allow you to explore the data. When your data contains free text, you will need a tool that allows you to do free-text analysis. Consider a tool that will allow you to set multiple-filter criteria and view the raw data. Very often, by means of an ask-and-tell approach, the ability to look at the filtered raw data provides great insights, and helps you ask more relevant questions. Most tools on the market will also allow you to view the data in different graphs as you explore it.
Remember your business environment is always changing, and so will your requirements. If you find that your intended audience is spending less time looking at the report, it is useful to check whether their requirements or priorities have changed. If the business have changed, previous metrics for the business may become obsolete. It is always a good practice to regularly review the relevance of your analytics to your business needs.
The key to successful analytics is to first understand your objective and be clear on how you intend to use the data. Having the right tool is important, but if you do not have a clear methodology for problem solving or to define what you want from the very beginning, you run the risk of merely creating fanciful but meaningless graphs, with zero returns on investments or business value.
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