Do you know about the art of asking questions? It seems indispensable for an analyst, before becoming himself indispensable to an organization, business, or group. Data analysis tackles our capacity to gain greater understanding, greater insight and a special talent to observe and to act upon exceptions.
Jim Sterne is one of the most renowned professionals in the business of marketing and a very good storyteller, able to define who an analyst is and what his interests should be in his endeavor.
A great analyst let alone an indispensable one is a folk who can see things other people cannot and use tools other people do not use. Becoming comfortable with the numbers and familiar with the data and eventually creating insight from data, is what analysts do.
Jim Sterne defines the ability to find insight while we are busy doing something else, as the fascination of the human brain.
From a more practical, business-oriented approach, analysts are those people who must always know what are the business goals of an organization. And then, there comes data.
Data is like sand. And analysts are sometimes made to look at and measure the dunes. But what about the little ripples?
What about the bottom-up way of looking at things, at the things that require more attention, more focus, trained eyes to see what lies behind? What lies behind the small, sometimes unperceivable, irreverent, twisted little ripples?
The more one investigates the details, the more one taps into the exceptions. And the more we put our minds at work, the more confident we become on one side and doubtful on the other. See Jim’s talk in the video below:
One needs to trust their data in order to make a serious recommendation they will stand by.
Statistically, data scientists spend 80% of their time cleaning data, 5% of their time analyzing data and 15% of their time complaining about the 80%.
But why is that? Preparation is key for any state-of-the-art profession.
A good analyst must look at the anomalies: errors and omissions, complaints, spikes, and throughs. And by saying that, Jim Sterne makes clear the fact that averages should not matter in good analysis.
” Analysis is the aggregation of data for purposes of pondering, filtering, sorting, ranking, comparing and grouping”.
Beside that, what is even more interesting is that in analysis, collaboration is the low-hanging fruit that bears progress and valuable insights. Before tools.
Tools are there to make tasks a bit easier, but insight always comes from one’s own mind, one’s own capacity to ponder, one’s unique ability to form an opinion and then, tell a good and truthful story. And this is what makes us not only indispensable analysts in the organization or business we work for, but it makes us indispensable human beings, that are called to be architects of the future. Our task is related to the way in which we can get those around us, either professional partners or friends or family to educate themselves swiftly enough to generate spontaneous behaviors that will make us thrive.
What do you think about it?
Let’s re:think the future with data. With good analysis. And great insight.
Share your thoughts and revisit Jim Sterne’s speech at the first Re:Think:Analytics conference.
- must always know what are the business goals of an organization
- needs to trust their data to make a serious recommendation they will stand by
- must spot anomalies and errors