Data Analysts have been plying their trade quite successfully up till now. But with the deluge of data that is currently flooding businesses, the necessity of accurate data analysis, and the need for collecting raw data, this skill needs to be enhanced with another – the art of storytelling. And no, we don’t mean the ones that start with “Once upon a time…”! We’re talking about the ability to interpret and translate insights from analysing the right data into a contextual framework that makes sense to the decision-makers. More simply put: data visualisation is the new big thing. 

As far back as 2008, Google’s Chief Economist Dr. Hal R. Varian stated, “The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualise it, to communicate it – that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.” LinkedIn has also reported that data analysis is one of the hottest skill categories and methods to use  in recent years for recruiters, and the only category that consistently ranked in the top 4 across all of the countries they analysed.

Interestingly, much of the current hiring emphasis has centered on the data preparation and analysis skills. Not the “last mile” skills that help convert insights into actions. Many of the heavily-recruited individuals with advanced degrees in economics, mathematics, or statistics struggle with communicating their insights to others effectively. The need for more data storytellers is only going to increase in the future. 

Data Visualisation and you

Data visualisation is finally being recognised as the essential data science skill that everyone needs. It is one of the most important data analysis techniques that you need to learn. Red & Yellow recognised this a year ago, prompted by an industry leader – Amanda Reekie of imagineNATION Alliance – who was begging us to produce graduates with this critical skill. There are plenty of data analysis courses available, but very few have the additional benefit of focusing on the communication or visualisation aspect. So we decided to collaborate with her, and another Knowledge Partner Anja Mulder, to develop a one-of-a-kind online short course. We are super excited to launch our exciting new course Data Analytics and Visualisation on 10 August. 

It’s difficult to think of an industry that wouldn’t gain a great deal from making data more understandable.  This has led to some calling data the “new oil, giving tremendous economic power to companies that produce and control it, and a pivotal information advantage when it comes to thriving in the global competitive battlefield”. You can see the influence of data in everything from the ads shown to you on the internet to the way sports teams train and play.  

As society becomes data-obsessed, people’s most desired skill sets are changing to suit the data-driven world. One of the most desirable skills is the “ability to discern when patterns are meaningful, so that you can draw accurate and actionable conclusions”. Use these conclusions to tell a story that provides insight into a problem. 

It’s becoming more and more important to be able to use data to make decisions, interpret it and use visuals to help tell stories. While traditional education usually “draws a distinct line between creative storytelling and technical analysis, the modern professional world also values those who can cross between the two. Data visualisation sits right in the middle of analysis and visual storytelling”.

The demand for raw data

Data has been called the new holy grail and has triggered a new gold rush for business, with “organisations of all shapes and sizes scrambling over one another to get their hands on high-quality data and extract quantified insights that can lead to better outcomes.” 

So if you’re keen to

  • Get in on the “goldrush”
  • Understand why “data” and “information” are not interchangeable terms
  • Master the art of communicating the stories that can be derived from data

This Data Analytics and Visualisation course checks all the boxes.

Data holds a tremendous amount of value, but its potential can only be realised when you have data integrity. When insights are uncovered and translated into actions or business outcomes, change really comes about.