Free Data Analysis and Reporting course from Google

Google is offering a free course titled “Making Sense of Data”. Google Data Course

This is very timely for me. In my role now as the Supervisor of IT Quality, I’ve been asked to organize and lead a monthly meeting with the Director of Infrastructure and Applications and his direct reports – managers of the various IT silos reporting to him. I’ve already started with one base sources of information, our Help Desk system which tracks both Incidents and Changes. I have a number of Pivot Charts in an excel spreadsheet that will take only a few minutes to refresh the data from our Help Desk source and refresh the charts.

With this new course – while probably specifically geared towards Google Docs and Fusion Tables, I’m hoping the underlying concepts of how to answer questions with data and how to recognize patterns in data will help me prepare a great monthly meeting that will be a value add to the organization. This is something that has not been done before by the IT organization – there have been some monthly data charts prepared in the past, but nothing like this monthly overview where I’ll walk the heads through some of the data, and drill down into information like “The number of incidents reported by region”, or “Incidents by incident area”. Over time this data will build up some great trends on performance. A repository not of data, but of knowledge. Maybe its a natural progression for me, as a DBA I have a long history of working with and supporting “Data” systems, this will be a path of turning “Data” into something useful for the business.