A Rough search done by you on the dictionary sites will not retrieve a definition for the term “Data Junkie”, the closest you can come to is an informal description on the urban dictionary website….spooked…Don’t be, That’s what I did when I first heard this term in a Business Intelligence session I had attended.

A Data Junkie is one who relies heavily on data such as graphs, pie charts and seemingly lengthy and boring data. That’s where you would have declared him as a nerd and a bore with specks the size of Jupiter and no existence of a girlfriend whatsoever but wait just yet, this person endures the pain of looking at those weird looking lines and those pies you can’t eat and generates usable intel that helps in running his business efficiently and in some cases earn millions (this is where he gets his girlfriend)

Remember the movie Limitless, where the protagonist identifies market behaviour from charts, yes that happens in the real world too, just that huge teams do that and not cool looking dudes on pills. These are the domains where a simple trembling line speaks volumes than actual trading can do in months.

So what does data junkie do and how does he get usable intel ???

Any type of analytical data is first generated in a very standard format and by the very nature is boring. For example if a simple YouTube video visits were logged then it would be a long list of user names and timestamps that would tell you nothing but that people are seeing your video, but the same statistics when consolidated as a graph per user and the time they watched your videos you can precisely see that at a particular time of the day the user hits to your videos are higher so you can be logged in too to comment, add a new video or just chat with them. With just a small graph you can predict their behaviour and you my data junkie are the benefactor.

We have all sorts of Data around us, with the advent of social and professional networking sites that data inflow might be treated as a data overload. Today we cannot possibly afford to be a data junkie to analyse and interpret this kind of data ourselves that’s where we put a data junkies best friend to use ….computers or any computing device.

Imagine a marketing scenario where you have to pitch sales to hundreds of potential customers, yes you can go ahead have a huge cup of espresso and start sending mails and handle calls at the same time OR you can have a system to mail your campaign to them and on a nice plush dashboard report those users who have opened your campaigns, report to you if they are surfing your website which means they are interested or at least can be nudged to your side, all this while you sip that same espresso.

This would give you a clear starting point before you start your pitches with a better chance to conversion it into a deal.

Data about anything will always help you but analysing it and using is what differentiates us, only organisations need not use data analytics but individuals can use it to get the edge required over others.

A small excel in your PDA containing your fuel expenses in conjunction with your schedule from the planner would give you a precise expense chart for each of your travels. Using technology is the easy part how to make it work for you is the tricky bit. It’s all about working smart and avoiding the working hard part as often.

Most people ignore the data not because it is boring but more so because they can’t read it in that format, just like you can’t understand a program code because you don’t know the syntax. So go ahead educate yourselves to interpret graphs, charts and some pie charts too. Don’t blame the data.

Being a data junkie helps you to better in tracking, measuring and analysing your tasks much better giving you an edge in your managerial skills.

 

Swapnil Kelaskar

MBA –ITBM(2013-15)

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