Why Solopreneuers Should Balance Creativity with Analytics

This is a guest post written by Erin Palmer of Bisk Education. Erin writes about business education, including business intelligence certification. Her work helps students learn about business analyst training options.

Solopreneuers are typically innovative and idea-driven. They are creative problem-solvers, multi-taskers, and wearers of many hats because they simply have to be. When it comes to business analytics, solopreneuers often prefer to pass that hat to someone else — someone who’s more left-brained than right. Many people feel that creativity and analytics shouldn’t mix.

Luckily, that’s not at all true. Analytics can actually strengthen a solopreneuer’s creative ability to solve business problems. A creative approach to analytics can be very beneficial. Here are some ideas on using your creative skills to make your business stronger, using analytics.

Analytics and Creativity, a Perfect Match

Analytics has become indispensable to media, advertising, and other creative businesses. For example, precise measuring of consumer behavior or an ad campaign’s impact on its intended audience provides insight that can drive subsequent creative decisions. Further, analytics allows clients to make smarter ad-spending decisions, based on hard data. But analytics alone won’t drive behavior — creativity is still an important part of the mix.

Creativity is the difference between a good cook and a great chef. It’s what separates a decent writer from a compelling storyteller. It’s also the difference between good and great business analytics utilization.

It’s not enough to simply gather data and glance at your analytics. Spending time with them, digging in and looking at them a little differently can open up the data to provide even more useful information. When curiosity and creativity are applied to analytics, great things can happen.

Balancing Creativity and Analytics

How can solopreneuers blend and balance creativity with analytics? Here are a few suggestions:

• Frame questions in new ways. Determine what you are really trying to learn, what you already know and how they differ. Approach problems from a new perspective and you’ll get more relevant data.

• Be curious. Ask why a problem matters, and how it’s been solved before. Find out how data is collected. Focus on both the things that are going wrong and those that are going well.

• Find new relationships. Can you find relationships between entities that you’ve assumed to be unrelated? What new insights can you find? What happens if you turn the data on its head?

• Interpret results creatively. Take the time to truly understand the implications of your insights, and then frame them creatively. How can you present results in a way that is easily understood by your audience?

When building an analysis model, the more creatively you imagine an issue, such as consumer behavior, the more variables you can create and the more useful data you’ll be able to generate. The more creatively you present your findings, the more easily your businesses partners, bankers, customers, or whomever you’re presenting to, will understand them.

Analytics Lead to More Creativity

As you apply more creativity to analytics, you’ll extract data that can fuel even more creative ideas. It’s a nonstop cycle of questions, analysis, and solutions that can be applied to any business problem.

Technology allows solopreneuers to explore data, see relationships that were previously unknown, quickly identify trends and test “what-if” scenarios all day long. It gives them the ability to creatively frame questions and target data-gathering to specific business goals. Business analytics technology has made it easier than ever to integrate your creative side with your business side. Successful solopreneuers have come to realize that you can’t have one without the other.

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