Vista Analytics Best Practices: Know the Real Purpose of Your Analytic

On the blog: Analytics Best Practices Part 1: Know the Real Purpose of Your Analytic

This tip really applies to everything you do, but it often seems to be skipped when it comes to analytics. Because Vista Analytics are multi-functional, it is especially important that you understand and clearly define your purpose. This way, you can ensure that the critical elements of the Vista Analytics toolkit actually achieve that purpose.

As an example, let’s say that you want to create an analytic to show the breakdown of your employees by ethnic group. You can easily create a quick pie chart to do this in a about a minute. But, is that your real purpose? Are you just trying to see the make-up of your employee base?

Or, was the true purpose more involved? Maybe you are trying to be proactive for EEO compliance or another affirmative action project. If so, is a simple pie chart the best tool for the job? If you’re already in the middle of a multi-year effort, shouldn’t you look at the evolution of your employee demographics over time? Or, can you expand this to view an even fuller picture? Your simple, aggregated pie chart paints one picture, but a detailed breakdown by job type (e.g., line worker vs. manager) could tell a completely different story. And, since recruiting/onboarding is a leading indicator of future employee make-up, it might be important to include an analytic on those trends.

The key point here is that taking a little time to really think through what you need can lead you onto a much more productive path than simply taking an idea and showing how fast you can create an analytic.

This article is part of a series on Vista Analytics. If you missed it, click here to read the introduction. Our next tip is an unexpected take on plagiarism.

Marco Padovani
Senior Development Manager | PDS