How to analyze unfamiliar data: circle, dive, and riff

October 19, 2010
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When you come face to face with unfamiliar data, how do you proceed? How do you avoid sending you and your shiny “speed of thought” tool slamming into a dead end? Dan Murray’s got a routine — and he’s also got certain music and right-brained wisdom to analyze by.

Dan’s first rule: “Don’t pre-think.” It’s the hardest thing for people to learn, he says. “If you go into [data analysis] thinking you know where you’re going, you easily miss the granule of gold.”

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