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Problem solving with data

Want to develop a data strategy for your business? This article will get you started.
Identify a business problem and work backwards

Having learned about the benefits of establishing a culture of being data-driven and the processes to start you off on the journey to become a data-driven business, take some time to think of an issue you have within your organisation and try to sketch out how you would go about addressing this problem using the concepts introduced.

graphical representation of the steps to move from problem to solution outlined in this article Using data analysis to address issues in your business (Click to expand)

  1. Define objectives
    • Start with identifying an issue while keeping your core business objective in mind.
    • Consider the goal you wish to achieve (usually the opposite of the issue)
    • Try mapping problems and objectives. The example visualisation might provide inspiration.
    • Develop objectives to explore through data
  2. Find the right data
    • Identify data points required to gain insights
    • Select data sources relevant to those data points required
    • Outline the type of analysis required
  3. Consider who will take responsibility in the business for leading the analysis

  4. Are there any skills gaps?

  5. Develop an implementation plan

Remember you probably don’t have the resources to follow up on everything interesting data reveals so try and stay focused on your core aim to figure out what your strengths are and where opportunities for development lie.

Don’t forget, there are external sources of help from both public and private sectors which will be discussed further in week 4 so you can get help to achieve your data and business goals.

© Edinburgh Napier University
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