Friday, April 18, 2008

Data Trending

I just realized a few weeks ago the importance of trending data. I had always set up dashboards to show trends, so it was always second nature to me - looking at trends.

Just imagine looking at a dashboard which does not show any week over week trends. Just a weekly refresh showing the previous week's results.

It would be obvious to me why the final recipients of the dashboard would not be happy, what is missing? I would not be able to get the answers to questions like - how was this metric 3 weeks ago, make me realized a ah! Week over Week trending is missing.

Just imagine this data shown in 5 separate charts, how will you derive any business insights out of this? But looking at the chart above you can clearly see that there was a clear upward trend until week 3. WHY? Probably seasonality or launch of campaign ...Why sudden drop in week 4 and then again an upward trend in week 5. Was week 4 just an anomaly or was there really a reason for this drop?

All these questions are sparked looking at week over week trends.

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