Numbers and data are facts, but how do you get to a point where you can tell a story with your data so others can draw conclusions? This is a key building block of information analytics. Looking at raw data or reports only gets you so far when trying to make data driven decisions. Our brains can only digest so much information before our "gut" kicks in and we draw upon our preexisting experiences and knowledge to make a decision. This is where information analytics comes in, we are trying to take out the "gut feeling" response so you are making decisions based upon the facts you have.
While analyzing the facts is important, it's not the only step. Facts are only helpful when they are put in context, this is where storytelling with data comes into play. The first step in storytelling is coming up with a plot, or in this case, a question you want to answer with your data. Once you know the question, you can distill down and dig into your relevant data to draw conclusions. Remember to let the data tell the story, the outcome may not be what you expected or wanted but you now have more information to develop the next question you want to answer with your data.
For further information or questions, please contact the Office of Information Services at OIS@mtu.edu