Beth Schultz

How to Spot a Great Analytics Professional

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MDMconsult
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A Great Analytics Professional...
MDMconsult   4/4/2012 5:50:18 PM
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Many correlations are similar to analysts having to be as much data artist as data scientist. Because data scientists have to be able to deal with mass sets of data this is a skill one should be educated with and have an experienced level understanding of the specific tools. Being able to transfer and deliver to the organisations culture is where that urge for being part data artist can be significant. "Test and Learn" observations is a repetitive process; this process is common formulations within the sciences. The marketing and cross functional departments have been working with big data but still its recently. These areas focus on raising questions that concern the customer. So they are more creative questions based on business outcomes - What are our customers talking about? Is the response positive or negative? When you reference the educational backgrounds of the technical and marketing departments, from the CTO to the CMO and from the Engineer to the Marketing Specialist the backgrounds are from having degrees in marketing to having degrees in computer science.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Art and Data
Joe Stanganelli   3/25/2012 7:06:46 AM
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Being a good storyteller is important for just about any job, as I came to learn as a professional director back in the day.

Nobody cares about facts.  People care about a story.  People, ever selfish, care about how things affect them.  People crave catharsis.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: A great list...in any field!
Joe Stanganelli   3/25/2012 7:05:11 AM
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To a certain extent, then, Cordell, I propose that one of the major jobs for the analytic professional is anticipation -- anticipating what the major pertinent business issues and ramifications of data might be, even if s/he is in actuality unacquainted with them.

All the more reason for clear lines of communication throughout the process, so that nothing is a surprise, and everybody knows what they're supposed to be meeting about.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Presentation counts
Joe Stanganelli   3/25/2012 7:02:54 AM
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Indeed, Beth.  People like to promote the stereotype of the antisocial IT worker, but in these days, where IT is so necessarily integrated into most important business functions, the successful IT worker is not only anti-antisocial, but knows how to speak the language of the marketing department, the accounts department, and more.

Joe Stanganelli
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Tooting my own horn
Joe Stanganelli   3/25/2012 7:01:18 AM
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Creative problem-solving is indeed important.  This reminds me of a time in middle school when we were to be giving a presentation about metric weights.  The teacher made clear that we were to have all of our materials ready in advance; her poor communication indicated to me that she meant "before our individual presentations" -- not before class had started that day.

Consequently, when it was time for my presentation to start, I was flatly told that I was not allowed to gather my materials.

Thinking quickly, I made use of random objects I found lying around, demonstrating the same scientific principles with them.

It couldn't have worked out better than had I actually been "prepared."  I got an A, and the teacher was ultra-impressed with my ability to think on my feet.

BethSchultz
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Re: Presentation counts
BethSchultz   3/23/2012 12:32:45 PM
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Absolutely!

WaqasAltaf
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Re: Presentation counts
WaqasAltaf   3/23/2012 11:30:54 AM
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@ Beth 

Nice example Beth. Effective communication is really an essential tool to have if you have to go up the ladder. However, the communication power may be short-lived if it is present without the essential quality of professional skill.  

Michelle
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Re: A great list...in any field!
Michelle   3/22/2012 12:04:01 AM
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It sounds as though you work with some really great folks who routinely apply some of Stephen Covey's best advice on influence and job performance.

BethSchultz
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Re: A perfect example
BethSchultz   3/21/2012 3:42:37 PM
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So Shawn, I kind of infer this in another board comment on your ClearStory blog, but I'm wondering what you think about giving business professionals the ability to run analysis on big data without necessarily possessing basic analytics knowledge. Could that be a recipe for disaster should said individual drive decisions based on data he or she isn't really knowledgeable about or capable of assessing in terms of results? 

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: A perfect example
Shawn Hessinger   3/21/2012 10:29:47 AM
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Great point, Beth! As I mentioned earlier, these are traits likely to be found in any business professional and, I would think, especially in entrepreneurs. Since a growing number of startups, not to mention businesses of any kind, will likely be data driven, clearly there is some synchronicity here.

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