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The Future of Analytics

In a fast-paced business environment, analytics will always remain a staple in workforces across the globe. From vibrant charts and visualizations to lengthy presentations, data is essential to the broader framework of modern business efforts. But are traditional analytical methods becoming outdated?

While data dashboards may be recognizable to the average data scientist, they can be indecipherable to the average person — particularly their target viewers. As a result, students who wish to be part of the future of analytics should take a different approach, also known as data storytelling [1].

This method prioritizes planning, presentation, and audience. If employees understand "who" the data matters to most, they can narrow down their information to only the most crucial information points, making for a more compelling experience overall.

Treating Data Like A Story

Much like any highly interactive job skill, data scientists utilize critical thinking skills daily. However, this focus may go to waste if used solely for data collection. If data scientists want to make an impact with their information, they must have a contextualized understanding of the material that goes beyond mere numbers [1].

As such, students aiming to further their data now and in the future should familiarize themselves with the ability to support their answers — with data. They should ask things like: Who is my audience? What purpose does this data serve? Insight to these questions can provide responses that are understandable and comprehensive [2].

Ultimately, the past and future of analytics is a story of big data. A construct of history compiled. Information gathered and presented in a way that focuses on the unique perspective of the data speaking to an audience about the discoveries in the data [1]. Essentially, telling a story with data, including a beginning, middle, and end that resonates with its viewers.

A Skill Worth Developing

In conclusion, students with a knack for data sciences shouldn’t toss their storytelling and communication efforts aside. While it’s long been assumed numbers and statistics can speak for themselves, the future will expect something different from analytics. Audiences don’t just want data to show them well-constructed charts or graphs; they also want that data to tell them a meaningful story [3].