In praise of the simple spreadsheet

Analytics can be a scary word, especially these days with IT systems vacuuming up terabytes of data. Who wants to wade through all that?

Yet Piyanka Jain, the founder of an analytics consulting firm argues that for a chief marking officer a minority of decisions need advanced techniques like predictive analytics. Most marketing decisions can be weighed with a spreadsheet, she says.


 If you haven’t realized it yet, tools like aggregate analysis, correlation analysis and a/b testing can all be done by a spreadsheet. If you don’t have Excel in your desktop productivity suite, there are many others that can be accessed for free including online suites such as Google Docs and Zoho, and downloadable software such as Apache OpenOffice

When the marketing team needs to turn to a expert in data analytics for the 20 per cent of their decisions that need advanced knowledge, they’ll know, Jain suggests.

A marketing team equipped that knows how to leverage data from a spreadsheet without the support of a data science team is better off, she argues, than a marketing team with no data skills supported by a large data science team.

It’s at least work considering.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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