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What is the importance of data analysis?

Data analysis is important to businesses will be an understatement. In fact, no business can survive without analyzing available data. Visualize the following situations:
  A pharma company is performing trials on number of patients to test its new drug to fight cancer. The number of patients under the trial is well over 500.
  A company wants to launch new variant of its existing line of fruit juice. It wants to carry out the survey analysis and arrive at some meaningful conclusion.
Sales director of a company knows that there is something wrong with one of its successful products, however hasn't yet carried out any market research data analysis. How and what does he conclude?

These situations are indicative enough to conclude that data analysis is the lifeline of any business. Whether one wants to arrive at some marketing decisions or fine-tune new product launch strategy, data analysis is the key to all the problems.
What is the importance of data analysis - instead, one should say what is not important about data analysis.
Merely analyzing data isn't sufficient from the point of view of making a decision. How does one interpret from the analyzed data is more important. Thus, data analysis is not a decision making system, but decision supporting system.
Data analysis can offer the following benefits:

Structuring the findings from survey research or other means of data collection
Break a macro picture into a micro one
Acquiring meaningful insights from the dataset
Basing critical decisions from the findings
Ruling out human bias through proper statistical treatment

So next time, when you are asked 'what is the importance of data analysis, this should help you.

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