Welcome to another episode of trying to figure out what I am doing in the tech space.
I recently started doing the Coursera Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate course and in learning about data analysis, I realized how the process of analyzing data had to be applied to my life. I am going through a weird phase where I don’t want to be around people, I feel sluggish, I am not looking how I want to, I don’t like my space etc. Essentially, I am in a funk. Data analysis allows you to make data-driven decisions which is similar to using facts to make decisions – basically, not going with my gut feeling but actually using past instances and current patterns as a basis for change.
As you know, I moved cities and changed jobs. The move was anything but easy and I have been feeling like I am in a slump which is terrible cause I love being in my space and when I started hating the mirror, I realized it is time for a change. This part of the process is called ASK in data analysis and I will be using the Google process in this instance. This is where you ASK questions about your goal, how you got to where you are, what is the problem and what does success look like? These are a few questions you should ask when analyzing your life or data in trying to make a date-driven decision on what to do next.
The next part in the process is a bit trickier but very important if you want to have all the information that you need for your decision. PREPARE is where you determine what (data) is needed and this was about asking myself where it is I want to be and what I need to do to get there. I decided to journal this and documenting/storing your data is a huge part of this process because you need it somewhere secure and somewhere visible.
PROCESS is defined as cleaning up the data and gaining insight from it. This has required me to understand what I am doing to feel the way I currently do. It required me to clean up my issues and give the issues context. In data analysis, you would take data in its raw form and convert it into a more readable format (graphs, documents, etc.) so you can understand it.
My most hated part came from the ANALYZE portion of this process where you analyze the data to find patterns, relationships and trends. This forced me to look at my self-sabotaging patterns and how I have been reacting to this move, loss and other factors. I still documented this by journaling and this is very crucial (even in data) because you need to be honest which is key when analyzing data.
SHARE is the next part of this data analysis process and under normal circumstances – you would share the data analysis with the client who wants to get insight so as to make a data-driven decision. I communicated the results with myself (client) because I am trying to fix this funk alone. I did share what decisions I have made with my closest people – mainly that I would be working on myself and would not be as available. In data analysis, you need to share with the key stakeholders and people who have insight – they are called subject-matter experts and they will help with the part of data-driven decision-making because they are familiar with the business problem. In my case, I was both the analyst and the subject-matter expert. I could have asked my friends but I realized I needed to do this alone plus with my personal trainer suggestions.
The final part of this process is called ACT which is about acting on the decision you have made and using the analysis results. It means implementing the changes and taking actions based on the findings. This requires change which is usually hard to implement but not impossible.
I am still learning a lot from this course but ASK. PREPARE, PROCESS, ANALYZE, SHARE and ACT are all important parts of data analysis or figuring out what data-driven decision you should make about your life. I will give a review once done with this course and it’s impact.