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Analyzing Data With ChatGPT: A Simple “Getting Started” Guide

Published on: November 2, 2023
Author: Mike Wienick

I’ve been spending time recently exploring how AI like ChatGPT can be used for data analysis and wanted to share some key learnings to help my network get started with data analysis in ChatGPT.

If you want to try data analysis on ChatGPT, make sure you have access to ChatGPT 4 and the Advanced Data Analysis Beta. You can now upload data files like CSVs very simply by pressing the “+” button in the prompt area.

I recommend using very simple, flat data sets. Remove any columns that you don’t need for the data analysis. This helps the AI interpret the data correctly – you want to remove any unnecessary complexity.

After uploading a dataset, I like to ask a couple simple questions, like how many records are in the data, and can ChatGPT list all the columns. This is to ensure the AI understands the data. You will find that sometimes the AI won’t count the number of records right. When this occurs, I recommend starting a new chat to reset the AI. Once you’re satisfied that the AI is reading the data correctly, you can dive into your analysis:

– Comparing metrics (e.g. close rates) between groups (sales people, teams)

– Analyzing trends over time

– Visualizations – ChatGPT is very good at charting the data. I do run into issues like x-axis labels not properly aligned to the corresponding bar of the bar graph.

Keep in mind you can input additional prompts to fix simple data issues or to ask ChatGPT to recalculate a number that looks wrong, or to fix some of the formatting issues in visualization.

Again, always double check the AI’s work – it can still make mistakes!

Over time and with practice writing prompts, the quality and speed of your analysis should improve significantly. On it’s end, ChatGPT is always improving and in a few years I expect AI will be transformative for data analysis.

For now, I view it as “training wheels” mode – immensely helpful but still requiring human verification.

My advice is to throw some simple data into ChatGPT and play around. That’s the best way to get a feel for the power and faults of ChatGPT.

FYI I wrote this post using talknotes.io – an AI powered audio note tool and then cleaned it up using Claude.ai, a ChatGPT competitor that in my opinion provides better writing results than ChatGPT. I created the attached image in Midjourney an AI powered image generation tool.

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to share more about my experience using AI.

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