4 Ways to Become Fluent in Data & Analytics

Remember the first time you looked at some data?

Did you feel lost in the numbers?

analytics chalkboard

Confused and intimidated by the complexity of all the charts and graphs?

Even more confused by all the terms being thrown around - sessions, funnels, conversion, retention, engagement...what the hell is a bounce rate!?

If you've tried using data to make decisions, you know how much of a jungle it can be. Hopefully you learn a couple of useful things in the beginning that you can hold on to and make sense of, but in the end it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of it all.

Here's the truth:

Learning data is like learning a foreign language

If you approach learning data like you would a foreign language, the path toward fluency will become more clear.

Here are 4 strategies for learning a foreign language that can also be applied to learning data and analytics:


Vocabulary
A great trick for learning languages faster is to get a list of the 200 most commonly used words and learn those well.  In the coming months we will do our best to compile such a list that we can release every week or so on this blog to help explain common terms used in data analysis and analytics, so stay tuned 😀


Context
With a new language it helps to learn phrases for specific situations, like ordering food at a restaurant or asking your co-workers how their weekend was.  It’s the same with the language of data and analytics.  Are we talking about how customers use your product or how people find your website? It’s important to know what the goal is when looking at data so you know where to look and how to interpret the data you find.


Practice
DuoLingo says "it takes 10 mins a day to learn a new language”.  Now this might be clever marketing to get people to use their product more (like this blog post is for glance.se), but if you have learned something useful before, then you know that practice is the road to masterySo take 10 minutes every day to practice what you’ve learned or find something new to build your data knowledge.


Immersion
We’ve all heard it before when it comes to foreign languages - nothing works better than being fully immersed in a place where everyone speaks the language you are trying to learn. 

Unfortunately there are no United States of Analytics or People’s Republic of Data to live in for a few months while you immerse yourself, but there are plenty of places to find resources and discussions about data and analytics online.  We’ll do our best to share some of these resources with you as we go forward on this blog as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

And now for some shameless self promotion

If you have a website or some social media accounts then you are already creating data that can be useful as a starting point. 

With Glance you can start seeing metrics and data from places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Analytics, Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp and more in minutes. 

We even have a Slack app integration that pushes all your data into a #slack-channel so you are notified every day if your metrics change.

Our service is free for now so give it a shot and let us know what you think 😀

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