Meta S. Brown

Better Writing for Data Analysts

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
Re: it's not all about the data
Meta S. Brown   1/29/2013 4:21:43 PM
NO RATINGS
You can certainly read online or in books and learn about writing. I've learned a lot that way, and of course, there would have been no point in writing the article if you couldn't learn from it.

Sooner or later, we all must write something, let people read it and give us some feedback. Some of that feedback should come from real, live professional teachers. I'd like to think we could all get that as part of our regular schooling, but often we don't. I don't believe online classes can make up the slack unless they are accompanied by an army of live teachers to read and criticize papers and presentations. For learning communication skills, I suggest conventional adult ed, corporate training, speaker's club and other time-tested methods. And practice - lots and lots of practice.

Pierre DeBois
User Rank
Blogger
Re: it's not all about the data
Pierre DeBois   1/29/2013 3:47:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Meta, I agree. I've learned more from professional in media about communication than in a dedicated technical coure. I think an analytics professional would beenfit not only from learning style, but also seeing how other professionals and , frankly, people communicate. I've met people that really do not want a dashboard, just the end story with bullet points on what is needed.  In some cases it is more important to learn how to listen to people's communciation style than to do a graduate course.  

I also wonder if many communication concerns are now being addressed with online courses such as Udemy rather than an outright course.

Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
Re: it's not all about the data
Meta S. Brown   1/28/2013 7:56:42 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm reluctant to suggest a graduate course in editing for technical fields. For one thing, who's going to teach it, college professors in technical fields? Have you read what they write?


My feeling is that it would be more productive for technical people to invest time and effort in taking conventional training in English composition, non-fiction writing, business writing and public speaking.

magneticnorth
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Writing & reading
magneticnorth   1/28/2013 7:39:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth - I agree with your comment title. Writing and reading do go together. The people I know who read a lot of good stuff end up writing well, while the ones who read crap (or hardly read anything at all) produce those horrendous LinkedIn profiles you mentioned.

magneticnorth
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: it's not all about the data
magneticnorth   1/28/2013 7:34:59 PM
NO RATINGS
In that case, Meta, do you think there's room for a diploma/graduate course on editing for those in technical fields? It seems that a person with those credentials can fetch a good salary given the skills shortage.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Writing & reading
BethSchultz   1/28/2013 5:06:43 PM
NO RATINGS
Or, more to the point, we could look at LinkedIn profiles, meant to be professional. Some of those are truly frightening. 

Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Writing & reading
Meta S. Brown   1/28/2013 5:03:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Have a look at some YouTube comments and let me know if you think that will help improve the standard of writing skills.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Writing & reading
BethSchultz   1/28/2013 4:55:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Do you think the problem will get worse or better as people rely more and more on digital communications for everyday conversation? Will we become better or worse at the written word with the practice we get out on the social web, for example? Hmmm.

Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Writing & reading
Meta S. Brown   1/28/2013 1:31:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth,


It's an evil cycle - our professors and our bosses are lousy writers, and they demand that we write just like them. So technical people are trained into writing dense techno-babble and never recover. Then they train the next generation to write more of the same crummy stuff.

Meta S. Brown
User Rank
Blogger
Re: it's not all about the data
Meta S. Brown   1/28/2013 1:28:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Noreen, you are so write about the value of a good editor! But not many writers have access to a good editor.

I'm in the midst of a major consulting project for a firm of very sophisticated analysts who need to improve the quality of their reports. Working on a tight time frame, they don't have time to familiarize an outsider on their business - so only someone who knows their highly specialized trade can offer meaningful help. That's a common problem, one that many organizations face.

The rarety of editors with technical knowledge makes it particularly important for technical people to develop good writing skills.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Information Resources
More Blogs from Meta S. Brown
Data alone won't make an analyst's work memorable or actionable in the eyes of a business executive. A story puts it into perspective.
When it comes to acquiring the data that will feed your analytics initiative, "free" isn't always the best approach.
Data presents an opportunity for enterprises to utilize personalization. Do it right and you can win. Do it wrong and you turn off those customers.
Pundits and analysts feel the need to expand the original designation of volume, velocity, and variety.
Expert advice on finding the right combination of benefits and savings that will convince management to fund your text analytics investment.
Radio Show
Radio Shows
UPCOMING
James M. Connolly
How to Hire Great Analytics Talent


4/23/2015   REGISTER   0
UPCOMING
James M. Connolly
Live Interviews From SAS Global Forum


4/28/2015   REGISTER   0
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Sports Analytics Mean Fun and Business


3/24/2015  LISTEN   4
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Secure Your Big Data in the Cloud


2/26/2015  LISTEN   114
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Make It Big As a Data Scientist in 2015


2/11/2015  LISTEN   106
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Big Data, Decisions & the Simulated Experience


2/3/2015  LISTEN   87
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
A Chat About Big Data, Machine Learning & Value


1/15/2015  LISTEN   125
ARCHIVE
Curtis Franklin Jr.
An Infrastructure for Analytics


12/18/2014  LISTEN   63
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Prepare for the Internet of Things Data Blitz


12/16/2014  LISTEN   50
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
How Mature Is Your Analytics Program?


11/18/2014  LISTEN   148
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Drive Big Decisions Using Data & Analytics


11/10/2014  LISTEN   73
ARCHIVE
Beth Schultz
Data Science & the Data-Driven Culture


10/30/2014  LISTEN   134
Information Resources
Quick Poll
Quick Poll
Infographic
Infographic
It Pays to Keep Insurance Fraud in Check
While 97% of insurers say that insurance fraud has increased or remained the same in the past two years, most of those companies report benefits from anti-fraud technology in limiting the impact of fraud, including higher quality referrals, the ability to uncover organized fraud, and improve efficiency for investigators.
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  Register  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  RSS