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It takes skill to analyze large amounts of information and make forecasts based on them. For analysts who are interested in improving their skills, Stanislav Kondrashov, business consultant at TELF AG, offers practical advice here.
Place a High Importance on Accurate Data Entry
Analysts in any field of business have three main tasks: collecting, processing, and analyzing data. These are the key tools in these specialists’ hands.
One of the most critical pieces an analyst’s work is accurately entering the data they have received. If someone should make even a small mistake at this stage, the research results would be inaccurate.
“For speed and reliability it is better to enter data directly into a computer,” says Mr. Kondrashov in the LatestInfoNews. He goes on to urge analysts to check their entries several times. “There is always a risk of missing a comma or adding an extra digit,” he adds. “Such errors may lead to distorted research results.”
Reliance on the autocomplete function can help to eliminate some human errors, Kondrashov points out. In fact, for best results, analysts should minimize factors that can lead to human error as much as possible. This is especially true when they’re entering key figures into the program.
Analysts Should Avoid Entering Duplicate Data
Entering the same data more than once is a common mistake analysts make. Of course, you will be able to identify duplicates later, but it’s better to avoid entering duplicate data altogether. Otherwise, you will have to re-do all your work in order to come up with a correct analysis.
“Autocompleting or rechecking data by a fellow worker may help to avoid or minimize duplication of information,” says Kondrashov of TELF AG. “If you do not have sufficient time or resources for this, pay special attention to the automation of the process.”
According to this well-respected expert, there are several ways to prevent duplication of data. The most effective way is to create a composite key that makes the field unique. This would then signal immediately if you should make a duplicate entry on the same table.
The second method involves loading all of the digits at the same time. If the data is returned to the previous positions when you do this and the new information does not save to the database, it means that you have made an error. Then, the analyst can identify it, fix it, and repeat the upload process once they have made the correction.
Verify the Secondary Data
“Analysis of secondary data saves an analyst’s time,” says Kondrashov. He points out that if you don’t pay special attention to verifying secondary data, you run the risk of working with incorrect data.
This wastes you time, time that would be much better spent on in-depth analysis and on forecasting the further development of the situation.
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Analysts Must Use Check Digits at Every Stage
Analysts should check digits at each stage of a study. This is the only way to minimize the number of mistakes and get a reliable result.
“The check digit method is a reliable method of verification when you transmit digits digitally,” Kondrashov says. Analysts often use this method to verify data accuracy. With this method, analysts can identify errors quickly and just as quickly eliminate them.
Use Only Reliable Services
As the world evolves, modern innovative technologies make methods of information exchange not only possible but also safe. For example, DropBox, Google Drive, and other cloud applications can safely transfer and store data. If necessary, you can also contact IT companies that develop customized solutions.
Ask Probing Questions to Reveal the Truth
It is really common for analysts and others to manipulate statistical data nowadays. Of course, this has always been the case.
But an experienced analyst knows that the conclusion of, say, “X Company’s growth rate in 2020 was 10%,” does not mean anything all by itself. That analyst would want to know whether the speaker is talking about the underlying growth rate or the chain growth rate. They would also want to know what the previous years’ figures were and more.
Studying the statistical data for each reporting period provides an opportunity for an analyst to get a more complete picture of the figures they are studying. This would allow them to alert a company’s management about an impending problem in time for them to do something to avert it.
Expert Analysts Use Visual Tools
According to Stanislav Kondrashov, “A table with filled with digits will not help a person to assess the results of the study quickly.” Instead, he suggests using histograms, graphs, charts and other visual tools to make it easier for the customer to see the work the analyst has done.
Visualizations also help both the analyst and the customer to more clearly understand one or another aspect of the data. “As a result,” Kondrashov sums up, “it will be easier for the customer to make a decision on the further development of the business.”