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Data Analytics for Impact


Simply put, we as human beings are here to do one job! “… to explain the unexplained …” Whether for our personal or our professional lives, we are set to achieve what we put for ourselves as targets. In business settings, every employee irrespective of his/her position is hired to not only do assigned tasks, but to improve and in some occasions innovate in order to make an impact. It sounds “easier said than done,” but the reality is different and imposes more difficulties on the tasks we are doing. The dynamisms blended with randomness of our environment lead to many uncertainties around us and therefore it is not easy to capture the full picture of our business and we lose sight in making influential decisions. The truth disappears with every event we experience and action we take. As time goes on, we get involved with these events and the truth sinks more and more to the bottom of the information ocean. We are then left to search for the truth that we buried ourselves, to make the decisions that will lead to our goals. We have to live with and face the challenges before us; where is the truth? How do we get to it? Can we get to it? … more and more questions are asked around the truth, but it seems no one realizes that the answers are known; the truth is, no truth! then we are left again with this dilemma to resolve. How are we going to make decisions without knowing the truth? The simple and yet realistic answer for this fundamental question is, we are going to estimate it. Data Analytics is all about helping to estimate the truth, or more precisely to get the best estimate of the truth.

This training program is designed as a culmination of over 20 years of experience witnessing companies grapple with the difficulties of closing the gap between skills and knowledge of their employees when it comes to understanding the fundamental concepts of data analysis. Not as numbers and formulas but as a process and a change in mindset so employees are critical thinkers with a better understanding of the business and therefore better decision makers, whether related to new product design, process improvement, market penetration, or new business modeling.

This DAFI training program is a blend of theory and practice in data analytics, where quantitative perspectives and thinking are the bridge between theories and practice. During DAFI, groups will participate in a collective theory building effort to create a theory for their company, as reflection of their individual mental models regarding their own reality. By doing so, it is ensured that everyone is represented in the shared understanding of the business. As a result, the commitment for implementing solutions is a by-product of the process. After agreeing on the shared theory of the company, everyone will be able to formulate the fundamental questions that the business should answer. Asking the right questions has always been the main concern of any business. Reaching a shared theory will enable the group to reach consensus on a list of critical questions. Consequently, finding the answer is the logical outcome after identifying the questions. Assuming that the answers are buried in the data, the task is to find them. But what data? do companies have the right data? If not, then what data needs to be collected and how can is it collected in the future? At this point, the data analysis will start to make sense.

Participants will then work on data driven cases to learn how answering questions can be achieved through data analytics. Participants will, through hands on tasks during the training, learn the fundamental concepts of data analysis and learn how to make sense of the results to reach business decisions whether related to evaluating new suppliers, budgeting, or developing strategic alliances.

The DAFI training program is a 4 day program as follows:

Day 1:    The Big Theory of the Company

                Top Down Thinking – from business issues to data

                The process of Theory Building

                Who should participate?

                Asking the right questions

Day 2:    Variation Based Thinking – VBT

Population vs. Sample

True values versus their Estimates

Data Types and Measurements

Descriptive and Inferential or Predictive Data Analysis

What are we looking for? Effect!

Types of Effect

Types of Errors and their Sources

Day 3:    Testing the Theory and Answering the Questions

                Linking Probability Concepts to Life

                Quantifying the Effect

                Toolkit for Answering Questions

Day 4:    Data has Stories to Tell

                Finding the Trend (Structure) within the Data

                All Models are Wrong – the goodness-of-fit

                The issue of Big Data versus No Data


Participants will work in groups to increase learning outcomes. Statistical packages or Microsoft excel program with Data Analysis Add-ins will be used during the program.

Note: This program can be customized for companies based on specific business needs. Usually customization includes providing advanced data analysis techniques such as but not limited to: Multivariate Data Analysis, for example: Cluster Analysis, Conjoint Analysis, Logistics Regression, Factor Analysis, Structural Equation Modeling, ANOVA, and ANCOVA, Time Series Analysis, Forecasting Techniques and Stochastic Process Modeling.