11 of the Best ChatGPT Data Analysis Prompts You Should Know

Author profile photo for CareerFoundry blog writer Elliot Gun

OpenAI’s large-language model, ChatGPT, set a new record when 100 million monthly users signed up in less than two months. Its widespread popularity and fast uptake suggest that this is a tool that has already begun to change how we approach many fields, including data analytics.

Whether you’re a data scientist unsure about how to incorporate ChatGPT into your workflow, or a business leader pondering whether it can assist you to make more data-driven decisions, this article will present practical suggestions for how you can use ChatGPT data analysis prompts for all types of projects. 

We’ll take a look at how it can deliver key insights while simplifying the process and lowering the technical barriers traditionally required for data analytics. However, using it effectively requires understanding both its benefits and limitations. We’ll explore some of its key features while also taking note of crucial factors to keep in mind to ensure its responsible and effective use.

  1. How to use ChatGPT for analysis
  2. 11 useful data analysis prompts
  3. Next steps

1. How to use ChatGPT for analysis

Large-language models such as ChatGPT are a highly versatile tool for data analysis. 

Because users with little technical background can enter prompts to obtain code samples or statistical explanations, ChatGPT is a great way for us to transform raw data into actionable business insights. 

Before we dive into specific ChatGPT data analysis prompts you can use for your next project, let’s discuss why we should use ChatGPT at all, and what you need to consider before applying it to any analytics project. 

Benefits of using ChatGPT for data analysis

There are several benefits to using ChatGPT for data analysis. Let’s go through a few of them now:

Processing data

ChatGPT can process vast amounts of data quickly and turn your company’s raw data into structured information much faster than the average user takes to launch a Jupyter notebook. (Python users will understand the pain of configuring a Python environment!) It can analyze long-term trends, detect anomalies, and even perform predictive machine-learning using historical data. 

Providing data insights

ChatGPT can also summarize these data points intelligently. This will help you extract valuable insights that might be missed in traditional analysis. It’s better than you might think at understanding context: it can reveal patterns, relationships, and trends. 

Natural language processing

The most exciting thing about ChatGPT is that it allows us to leverage its natural language processing capabilities. None of the existing data tools or platforms can do this.

It communicates findings in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, making it even easier for data scientists to create a narrative around their findings that make it compelling for non-technical stakeholders. 

Users can also use conversational language to prompt and refine it, enabling the iterative process that is key to data analytics. We can also tailor our ChatGPT data analysis prompts according to specific use cases—this flexibility makes it a useful tool for a broad range of industries, from healthcare to finance and sports marketing. 

Things to bear in mind when using ChatGPT for data analysis

However, there are also certain factors to keep in mind when using ChatGPT data analysis prompts. 

The data going in needs to be clean

Data quality remains paramount in any analytics project. “Garbage In, Garbage Out” is a rule that is often instilled in data analytics students from day one.

This principle illustrates that the quality of insights obtained, regardless of how sophisticated the tool, ultimately rests on the quality of data used. Hence it’s essential to ensure that you transform, preprocess, and clean your data before performing any analysis. 

Human judgment remains key

Although ChatGPT can automate much of the technical work, especially basic tasks, human judgment remains key in taking any project across the finish line.

ChatGPT is a tool that does not understand the implications of its findings. Any generated insights must be evaluated with a critical eye and consider any ethical implications. 

Remember to only use anonymous data in ChatGPT

Furthermore, users must ensure that any data used for analysis is sufficiently anonymized and free of personally identifiable information to avoid privacy breaches. 

You’ll still need data analytics knowledge to use it effectively

Finally, although ChatGPT simplifies much of the process of data analysis, users still need to study and understand data analytics concepts, including some math and statistics.

Having advanced knowledge in these fields will still provide an edge for analytics professionals looking to derive better insights than what can be done through ChatGPT. 

2. Eleven useful data analysis prompts

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you of why you should give the tool a try and also looked at some of its limitations, let’s turn to some practical ways to use ChatGPT for data analysis. 

There are three main types of ChatGPT data analysis prompts: 

  • to learn a new concept
  • to create your own tutorials
  • to learn best practices

Let’s go through each of them in turn:

Using ChatGPT to learn a new concept

Unlike traditional textbooks, ChatGPT is responsive. You can pose a question or ask it to explain a particularly challenging concept and it will answer within seconds. 

For example, if you’re just starting out with principal component analysis (PCA), you can not only ask it to explain what this is, but also ask follow-up questions to clarify your understanding when you run into confusion. 

ChatGPT’s flexibility means you can use it to break down complex ideas into more digestible components with each further prompt. You can first ask ChatGPT to explain PCA before prompting it for examples of where it’s been used in the real world or in the field you’re working in.  

Some data analysis prompts you can try: 

  • “What are the advantages and disadvantages of using dimensionality reduction techniques in data analysis?”
  • “What are some effective techniques for outlier detection and handling in data analysis?”
  • “Can you recommend any unsupervised learning algorithms suitable for clustering my dataset?”
  • “Which evaluation metrics should I consider when assessing the performance of my classification model?”

Using ChatGPT as a tutorial

One of ChatGPT’s strengths is serving as a live and interactive tutorial guide. It excels at giving step-by-step instructions for concepts over a range of difficulties, and tailors the explanations to your level of understanding. 

Returning to our PCA example, you can also use ChatGPT to create your own tutorial in PCA. We can first ask ChatGPT to explain how to apply PCA to a particular dataset in Python and it will provide code examples alongside explanations. 

Once you’ve figured out the basics of how PCA works, you can prompt it for more advanced uses and feed ChatGPT prompts like “”How do I interpret the eigenvectors and eigenvalues in PCA?” or “What does it mean if the first principal component explains a small proportion of the variance?”

In this way, ChatGPT goes beyond most learning platforms in enabling a two-way learning conversation that can both provide explanations at very basic levels and also quickly link these to advanced use cases. 

Some prompts you can try: 

  • “How can I handle missing data effectively in my dataset for analysis?”
  • “What are the steps involved in feature scaling and normalization for machine learning models?”
  • “Can you provide an example of how to implement cross-validation for model validation?”
  • “How can I perform sentiment analysis on text data using natural language processing techniques?”

Using ChatGPT for best practices

Because ChatGPT has been trained on an incredibly large dataset, this makes it a unique tool for learning best practices in many fields, including data analytics. You can start by asking what the best practices are for analyzing a certain dataset. 

For example, with our PCA example, ChatGPT will suggest ways in which you should standardize your data on how to determine the optimal number of components to retain based on your specific dataset. 

Then, you can build on your basic understanding of PCA to ask ChatGPT for suggestions on how to best visualize your results. Using specific questions that are targeted to draw out recommendations not only improve your analysis but also your understanding of the nuances of PCA. 

Some data analysis prompts you can try: 

  • “What are some popular time series forecasting models I can explore for my data analysis?”
  • “What are some best practices for handling imbalanced datasets in machine learning?”
  • “Which visualization techniques are most suitable for representing relationships in multivariate data?”

4. Next steps

The emergence of conversational artificial intelligence offers innovative methods for data analysis.

However, ChatGPT is just one tool among many: it shouldn’t replace human judgment or the need to understand the fundamental concepts required for effective data science, analytics, and machine learning.

It’s our responsibility as analytics students and professionals to ensure data quality, proper interpretation, and maintain stringent standards for data privacy. 

That said, we should not be afraid to integrate new AI tools like ChatGPT into our analytics workflow. ChatGPT has made the ability to obtain data-driven insights even more accessible than ever, and a clear grasp of both its advantages and limitations provide a balanced way for us to use it to turn raw data into practical business insights. 

If you’re interested in using ChatGPT data analysis prompts in your next project, let’s review the three types of prompts that will help you get the most out of this platform:

  1. Using ChatGPT to learn a new concept: asking how a concept works through its interactive, two-way dialogue can help you learn at your preferred pace, helping you tackle advanced concepts more easily than with traditional textbooks or classroom lectures. 
  2. Using ChatGPT as a tutorial: as the best way to learn is by doing, working through tailored step-by-step examples, where each line of code is accompanied by detailed explanations, is an incredibly useful way to learn new technical concepts. 
  3. Using ChatGPT for best practices: using targeted prompts can help you draw out industry-wide best practices already in use. Prompts that ask for recommendations often provide more insight into the nuances of a specific method or conceptual approach. 

If the world of business analytics interests you but you don’t know where to start, why not try CareerFoundry’s free 5-day data analytics course? It covers the basics of data analytics as a field and will give you a good idea if it’s a career path you’re interested in pursuing further.

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