• Unit 1: Defining the Business Objective and Sourcing Data

    Before performing any analysis, there must be a clear business purpose for the analysis and an understanding of how the data will be collected, cleaned, and made available. This is often referred to as the extract, transform, load (ETL) operation, which is the general procedure of copying data from one or more sources into a destination system that may structure the data differently from the source or in a different context than the source. Uniformity in the final data structure helps minimize the chance for errors that could occur from using disparate data sources. It is just as important to understand the source of the data, utilize proper data gathering methodologies and organize the data into a consistent format as it is to actually perform the analysis. Without these prior steps, you could communicate incorrect results to the audience or fail to meet the business objective. In this unit, you will learn about defining clear data analysis objectives, identifying best practices in collecting or gathering data to support the objective, and utilizing proper verification techniques to ensure the validity of collected data.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

    • 1.1: Data Analysis Processes

      Data-driven decision-making is collecting data, extracting patterns and facts from that data, and using those facts to guide decisions. Watch this video to explore how data is used to make decisions and the importance of using intuition as part of the process. Pay attention to the four-step method that guides data-driven decision-making, and think about how the author used data to drive decisions that improved his business outcomes.
      The four-step method is:

      1.  Have a clear objective.
      2.  Have a measurable outcome.
      3.  Make decisions based on current data.
      4.  Validate the outcome.

      How does using this method help create business opportunities and reveal new business insights?

    • 1.2: Data Analysis Business Objectives

    • 1.3: Data Collection and Gathering Best Practices

    • Study Guide: Unit 1

      We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 1 Assessment.

    • Unit 1 Assessment

      • Receive a grade