Every company has piles of data that can be turned into an insight about what is coming, which makes it possible to get ready for anything. However, data remain untapped, and so managers’ instincts and experience still get a lot of space. But the situation starts changing. “Business managers need quick access to their data in a form suitable for presentation and correct decision-making,” says the data analyst Radek Nekvapil in the interview.
There are loads of data sources. Whether they are publicly available data or data on internal processes or customers, if you can read such information, you are halfway from victory.
Companies and data processing. It is a common question for a data analyst. In your opinion, how do companies use the sources they have at hand?
Businesses are increasingly dependent on information and its processing. Companies that cannot work with their data and mine them correctly, or do not work with data at all, cannot expect financial growth. Hence, they are increasingly focusing on data processing and their correct interpretation.
If you could change and improve one situation for companies immediately, what would it be?
Companies, large and small, have a growing amount of information and data about their customers, sales and trends in their respective industry. Such data can potentially become a competitive advantage because companies already have the data they need for their growth. All they need to do is use them correctly. So I would definitely focus on utilizing them. Only after that would I look into how to further expand the sources or automate their processing.
Speaking of advice and recommendations, do you have any other that are easy to pass on?
It is becoming increasingly important to make the right decisions in time. This is not to say that I would like to reinvent the wheel. I just want to emphasize that a correct decision can only be taken on the basis of information hidden in a company’s data. Without clear numbers, resource efficiency cannot be achieved. This requires analytical and data processes, which takes us to the already mentioned automation and also data visualization allowed by business intelligence industry.
We revolve around data, their processing, automation and visualization. As a data analyst, you are in charge of all these areas. How would you simply define your position?
The work of a data analyst consists in the preparation of data and their analysis for various outputs, analyses and reports. Furthermore, it is also about maintenance and creation of databases, coordination and cooperation with the marketing department, cooperation on various IT projects within the company. It is a complex profession that overlaps with different fields, so it is important to monitor data always in a given context, so that they can be applied to a specific situation.
The scope of knowledge and familiarity with a context will probably be all the more important in the situation where you take care of multiple clients in Medor compared to the situation when you deal only with one task at a time.
At Medor, we approach our clients’ data on an individual basis, according to their needs. So it is important to set expectations and goals at the beginning. It is a common situation that clients have, for example, disparate sales data available from different distribution channels, which makes further processing and analysis difficult. We therefore create a comprehensive database with a maintained history and automated reporting, including outputs, reports, previews in the flexible MS Power BI platform. Once again, it depends on a specific situation whether we further work with such data. Every client has slightly different needs.
If we are talking about you approaching every client individually and addressing their specific needs, do you think that the outsourcing of data management is the right way to go? Wouldn’t it be better for companies to hire a person or a team to handle everything on site?
The trend of outsourcing services is now on the rise and I think it is the right choice. For small and medium-sized companies, it is mainly a matter of reducing costs, which is often a necessity. Outsourcing has many advantages. In particular, it is the opportunity of accessing the latest technological trends and innovations that they would not otherwise be able to access themselves, either due to a lack of know-how or limited funding.
Let’s get back to the position of the data analyst as such. Where do you see it in a few years, when technology will be developed a bit further once again?
Data analysts are still in high demand in the labour market, and companies certainly cannot do without them. It can be called a job with a future.
And what about the present time?
Data analysts are among the most sought-after talents, already ranking among the specialists who are in great demand, and soon every company will need them. Working with data can increase both incomes and work efficiency for companies. Business managers need quick access to their data in a form suitable for presentation and correct decision-making.
So we have doctors, firemen and analysts?
That’s definitely not the way to put it. Data make the world go round and companies would pay way over the odds to understand them. Every click, downloading, searched or typed word leaves a digital footprint. Data analysts work with large volumes of data. They analyse them, communicate their development through various outputs and reports, and help to search for new customers, opportunities, products and possibilities of progress, or predict a company’s future sales development.
As regards access to data and their processing, is it possible to tell the difference between the Czech Republic and foreign countries?
In my opinion, access to data in the Czech Republic and abroad does not differ much. Today, many companies operate in more than one country, which is why Europe is seen as a single market.
Does this also apply to you in Medor, operating in several European countries?
To generate outputs for our clients, we increasingly use the business intelligence tools that are still overlooked by many companies in the Czech Republic. We try to distinguish ourselves by this and thus offer high quality services. The visualization by means of PBI offers a broader perspective of a company’s performance. It also serves for effective and correct managerial decision-making and facilitates the setting of priorities. In addition, we use ETL tools that support greater efficiency and flexibility in data processing.