I’ve had the opportunity to discuss with organizers of analytics conferences during some of my outings. One chat I had with an organizer, he told me about his job as a Data Scientist in a tech company. I could see from his appearance that he had to be the hardworking kind and also quite smart. At first, it was just random talk to me until he explained to me how the management of the company takes any recommendation from him as a priority.
From my reaction, he knew I was perplexed, and he said to me; “I know, I’m lucky.” That was a mistake on his part. My thoughts were far from that. In my opinion, I felt he was making a big mistake in his judgment.
It is true that there are a lot of company executives who spend a lot on analytics so they can incorporate any information they can get into a making the right decisions for their business. This is especially welcomed if the outcome of the analytics are provided in a way that it convinces the executive of its validity.
When it comes to decision making, no business executive will be willing to take chances based on any information offered by an analyst or data.
There are lots of professionals in analytics who have a sound mathematical knowledge and believe this is important. This along with data management, programming, and other technical skills are quite important but become irrelevant when the issue relates to business talks. This is why it seems like a waste of money to make use of analytics – because they have no way to tailor their results to relevant issues that run through the mind of an executive.
Knowing how to show the relation between a business problem and the analytics which leads to better insights is the only reason why an executive will listen to an analyst.
Becoming a go-to analytics expert can start with training and then it is vital to come up with a new strategy to tackle problems. Changing how you do things may be hard initially, but as it becomes a habit, you start to become more comfortable.
Here are three habits you should develop to become a go-to analytics expert:
Focus on pressing business problems.
Determine the issues that bother your manager. This may be quite difficult since it is not easy to get into in depth discussion with your boss. For this reason, you should try to talk to people with more experience and also go through your email and annual reports. Find a way to adapt the technical terms so that you can present the information to the executives of your company in a way that it makes sense to them. Terminology and jargon can be a problem when it becomes a barrier to communication.
Expand your search boundaries when considering information sources.
Anyone can come up with information as long as they are given the data. If you are one of those that need to be spoon-fed, then you are going to look like an average analyst to others. Taking time to research and get more information beyond the data is what makes a virtuoso analyst.
For any form of business, you are into, you need to know all the sources where you can gather additional data and analysis. Get familiar with outside sources of data and analysis that are relevant to your business. Information can be in abundance especially if you visit a government agency. A simple request to a local, state or federal agency can be helpful. You can also ask non-profit organizations or other professional bodies that carry out research studies or surveys. Websites are also great sources of information, and you may get some useful information for free from the websites of government agencies or professional associations. Also, make sure you take advantage of any paid membership in which the company is a part. This can give access to information which may be restricted or more expensive to anyone who is not a member.
Go through claims and methods extensively
Analytics results can come from different sources either through comments in studies made by someone and articles from newspapers which are usually your secondary sources. Your primary source will usually be the reports from work. Whatever the source, make sure you study it extensively. Determine the methods used, the name of the researcher, and techniques used to acquire data.
Articles are good, but it is essential you get the original research papers of whatever is mentioned in an article. A lot of articles make this easy by providing links which you can be clicked, but not everyone takes the time to do this. Most research papers may be boring; you just need to read it. As an analyst that takes time to go through original research papers, it will be easy for you to identify and object to any information which is contrary to the research work.
A good place to start is training through the online degree in business data analyticsPut in a little extra work to determine what is important to your executives and continually build yourself on that. Push yourself in your coding and math skills and live outside your comfort zone. That is where the greatness is.