October 31

SSSVEDA DAY 5 – When Data Analysis is Wrong

In this episode, Oz discusses the dos and don’ts of a sticky situation: when one’s data analysis is wrong! If your work involves a lot of number crunching, do read it.

Let’s get started.

1 – The Situation

Oz was processing commissions for some month and the numbers just looked plain wrong. He checked the previous month’s file and found out a blunder in his analysis: a person got paid $5,000 than they should’ve gotten last month. Although he feared looking stupid and getting fired, he still informed his superiors about the error.

2 – What Not to Do

Not taking ownership of one’s mistake and trying to hide it is a serious problem. Once caught, it can lead to dire consequences: from losing one’s job to landing in jail.

3 – What to Do

In each organization, there are processes and review mechanisms in place to catch such errors. But even than some errors might just slip away. The important thing is that the error was eventually caught and Oz took complete ownership of it. Also, the error highlighted a weakness in the processes governing disbursement of commissions.

4 – What’s the Take-away

Firstly, the blame does not rest with the tools an analyst uses. The analyst needs to own up to it.

Secondly, playing with data is like playing with fire; sometimes one will get burnt. It is important to accept and learn from one’s mistakes.

What’s next?

Share your experiences and advice with us in the comments section below. And do not forget to forward this video to your friends and colleagues.

Also… Check Out Oz on Youtube

About the author 

Jamani Arsalan

I am a healthcare consultant, currently based in Middle East, at an international professional services firm. My work largely revolves around project management, and statistical analysis. And my professional interests include developing my knowledge within the discipline of health analytics.

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