How Any of Us Can Start the Wine + Data Analysis Journey, for Free

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Last week Cathy wrote about the Qlik Continuing Classroom, and how she’s introducing it for the first time to MBA students she’s teaching in Bordeaux. For one year, at no cost to them, students can access the Qlik platform and its educational resources, and even become a certified practitioner of the technology.

This week I wanted to step in and talk to a different audience – to the people in our community who aren’t currently students – about the same message: How to access free tools that jumpstart the data journey.

Because we believe in empowering wine businesses of all sizes to do something with their data.

We believe that the more people we can educate about the power of data-driven visualizations for business intelligence, the more it will elevate the industry as a whole.

We believe that data is for everybody, whether you’re a student and just starting out, or you’re wanting to add a new and valuable skill, or you’re an experienced professional looking for a new challenge that will add value and interest to your work.

As the co-founder and COO of Enolytics, I’m going to do something I probably shouldn’t be doing, and that’s to tell you that “doing something with your data” doesn’t necessarily mean hiring Enolytics.

Many of you are already perfectly capable of mining and visualizing your own data. You just need some help getting started.

Which brings me to why I’m writing Enolytics 101 this week.

I want you to know that there are a lot of resources that take the mystery out of data.

Most of you use Excel for handling your data but, in our opinion, Excel lacks the ability to dynamically visualize your data in the most useful and effective ways. Yes, you can make charts! But they are static. When you have additional questions, you need to create another table and another chart. That’s possible, but very time consuming.

So how do you get started? Without spending any money, the way the students have the opportunity to do? How do you start viewing your data in a way that enables you to make meaningful business decisions?

Many Business Intelligence vendors (like Qlik, Tableau, Microsoft PowerBI, etc.) offer free desktop versions of their products. It gives you a good start as you can basically do all functions on your own computer.

Check out:

  • Qlik. This is a desktop version of Qlik Sense (for Windows Users) that is free for personal and internal business use. It is also our recommendation. If you have a Mac, we suggest you install Parallels or VMWare so you can run it in a Windows environment. You can also use the Cloud version, QlikSense Cloud for free. Cloud has somewhat more limited functionality (probably still more than what you would normally need) but it will allow you to share with up to five users, and it can also run on moblie devices. You are, however, limited in the size of data files you upload. Remember to use Youtube as a resource to learn all about how to use it. There are plenty of tutorials.

  • Tableau. You’re limited by the amount of rows, and you can only connect Excel or text files. Also, and this is important, anything you save in Tableau Public will be saved on the Tableau Public Sever, which anyone can download. So there is no confidentiality there. Tableau is a great visualization platform but we wouldn’t recommend the free version for the reasons just mentioned.

  • Power BI. This is definitely an up-and-coming platform with beautiful visualization options. There’s also plenty of information about it available on YouTube and throughout the internet to get you going. It’s also fairly easy to use and has a free version (like Qlik Sense).

If you have a bit of computer savvy and you’d like to give data management and visualization a shot, these should be a good start for you.

If there’s enough interest, Enolytics would be happy to host a User Group where everyone can help each other out, ask questions and suggest ideas.

At a certain point father into the journey, yes, it will probably make sense to bring in data scientists with more experience and deeper expertise. And we hope at that point you’ll consider hiring Enolytics, whether you want to incorporate external data or build something with more moving parts. Until then, there’s a whole lot of ground you can cover on your own.

Tell us what you think. We’re listening, and encouraging the journey.

We never wanted Enolytics to be just another for-profit company in the wine industry. We know the power of data, and how it can be put to use for good. If “for good” in this case means empowering the wine community to work smarter and more efficiently, we want to help.

Thank you,

Chris