In data science, exploratory data analysis is an endless game. Here is a quick summary of the process that I follow to get it done. It is easy to get sidetracked, lost in the details. The commitment to follow bullets points helps to stick to your main goal: get a global overview. The important shift is to iterate at least three times with a different focus at every iteration:
- Function: What is the purpose of the system? Is it to satisfy customers? How? Something else?
- Structure: How are the building blocks arranged in space?
- Processes: How are the building blocks arranged in time?
Depending on the type of question it might make more sense to adapt the ratio between time and space, but the two are important.