Data Analysts and our future

In f2p we use data to make better decisions. Data is magic these days and many companies make the mistake to rely on data too much. The simple reason is that it seems data is easy to read and make decisions upon.

It isn't.

It takes educated data analysts to read data properly. They know the common mistakes of self selection bias or survivors bias, Correlation & Causation or many other data oddities which exist. They also know the validity of the data you try to read, i.e. is the data really solid enough to make conclusions.

And there is this: Data tells you WHAT happened, never WHY.

There is a common misunderstanding that data gives you enough to make meaningful decisions. It does not. Data is a tool to make better decisions, but doesn't replace your experience or the designers knowhow.

The danger which data inserted into our industry is that data seems so easy to read to make conclusions upon that people in your company who are NOT educated in reading data correctly will make decisions based on it. And you don't even know that these mistakes are being made as simply putting data transparent on dashboards for everyone to read is injecting this mistake into your company (thats why I don't support public dashboards inside companies).

It takes specialists to interpret data and present them in a right manner. I learned this the painful way. I saw decisions being made by people who read data wrong. I have seen decisions being made based on data presented by specialists - which was much better.

Why do I think this matters to our future? Because data is the future of everything in our daily lives. Internet companies collect data. Insurance companies collect data. Your phone collects more data about you than you even know about yourself. AI is dependent on mass data and leads to even more data collected. Some governments use data to know everything about you (look at China). Their tech is so advanced including facial recognition that they always know where you are, what you did, what you bought, whom you talked to, online or real life. And if you think China is the only country doing this you are wrong.

Now imagine these Governments like game companies doing the same mistakes I experienced. People not used to reading data correctly will make decisions - wrong ones - influencing our daily life.

Thats why data analysts should be one of the most important jobs we should train - and knowledge about data analyzing should be educated to everyone in our industry (and beyond). Management needs to learn, Designers by default. Train this. It will be the competitional advantage between you and your fellow companies.