Bryan Beverly

3 Considerations for Defining Your Career Scope

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BethSchultz
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Re: SME pros & cons
BethSchultz   2/1/2013 12:03:13 PM
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Pierre -- I would agree on your point about data stewards. Whether by name or not, that's an important role to play.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: SME pros & cons
Noreen Seebacher   2/1/2013 8:29:56 AM
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"Figuratively speaking, they will hail you on Palm Sunday and then nail you on Good Friday."

Well said Bryan! You just can't trust anyone.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: SME pros & cons
Pierre DeBois   1/31/2013 6:08:49 PM
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Jeff, that makes for a great analytic meme, I'm sure!

Pierre DeBois
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Re: SME pros & cons
Pierre DeBois   1/31/2013 6:07:54 PM
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I can imagine bad leaders in siloed departments being threatened, Beth. It is a nice point you have implied, the link between siloed departments and defensive leadership.  And it's a reminder of what analytics practitioners must practice anyway - how to be a stewart within a professional community.

BethSchultz
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Re: SME pros & cons
BethSchultz   1/31/2013 3:35:40 PM
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So it's in the manner of delivery. I would think, too, that good leaders would encourage staff to do this sort of reachout and knowledge sharing. Bad leaders, on the other hand, might feel threatened by it.

bkbeverly
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Re: SME pros & cons
bkbeverly   1/31/2013 3:33:00 PM
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Hi Beth,

Your point is well taken.  I would suggest that any tips or tricks sent out by email to your colleagues should be in the context of supporting their tasks, objectives and goals. What I find works best is to identify a pain point of someone in your group or external to your group but in the organization, and offer a solution in text, diagram or code.  I find that when you indirectly expand your skill profile by giving away ideas to help others, it is not seen as chest thumping.  People tend to keep their secrets like Jedi protect their light sabers.  When you offer solutions outside of how people perceive your core capabilities, you not only help them, but project yourself as a team player, and possibly get picked to be a part of compnay-wide project teams.  For example, 10 years ago, I was part of a contractor team that resdigned a government system.  I shared tips with the customer that made the customer's knowledge base stronger.  And best of all, our support helped the customer get promoted.  That led to other opportunities and to me eventually becoming a fed.

So yes, there are political consequences if your goal is to promote yourself directly.  But if you demonstrate your breadth of skills, knowledge and experience by sharing information that helps others, then the risk of politcal consequences are reduced.  But yes, one should never fall asleep on politics - people are fickled. Figuratively speaking, they will hail you on Palm Sunday and then nail you on Good Friday.

 

 

BethSchultz
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Re: SME pros & cons
BethSchultz   1/31/2013 1:01:37 PM
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So I like this advice to send out tips and tricks and sort of assert yourself as a go-to authority. But couldn't this sort of activity get "politically" complicated if you're part of a department or team?

Jeff
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Re: SME pros & cons
Jeff   1/31/2013 12:37:25 PM
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This is great advice.  You can't wait for the work to come.  Send out feelers, ask what other are doing.  Master something.

bkbeverly
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Re: SME pros & cons
bkbeverly   1/31/2013 12:23:16 PM
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Hi Beth,

Ideally the area in which you become known as a SME is also an area that you enjoy and not perform by default (it is said that in the land of the visually impaired, the person who can see clearly with one eye becomes the ruler).  What happens sometimes is that if you are the first persons to figure out (even accidently) what no one else can, then you become the go-to person.  That can create some job-security, but can leave you pigeon-holed.  In this situation, I suggest sending out technical tips and tricks via email on other problem areas. In other words, people will bring to you problems in which they see you as the SME.  But it is up to you to publicize examples of other areas in which you can add value.  Your good fortune or real strengths may attract certain projects toward you.  But if you want to be considered for tasks beyond this one domain, then you have to provide evidence of the breadth of your knowledge.Try to market your self as a jack of several trades and a master of at least one.

BethSchultz
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SME pros & cons
BethSchultz   1/31/2013 10:19:16 AM
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Hi Bryan, regarding subject matter expertise, it sounds like you're saying analysts have to find the right balance between being an SME and being an analyst in general capable of tackling a variety of projects. Any recommendations on how to achieve that balance?

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