"You asked - 'What skill makes an analyst indispensable?'"
Guess "natural curiosity" isn't much of a skill - but it's a key attribute. I have worked on projects where the "topic" was not that interesting but when I started going through the data I would become interested and spend hours chasing down details.
Thanks for sharing the information about eMetrics summit. But after visiting the site and reading some of the comments by attenddes and bloggers, I wonder what makes eMetrics summit different from other similar workshops or conferences. One blogger says that eMetrics summit has "a scientific approach to online marketing metrics." I wonder what that means.
Databases in general and relational databases in particular are intended to be most useful for knowledge representation in the context of validation -- when a theory has been formulated -- and the logical model representing it in the database can be used to validate it and further analyzed to derive additional implications of a theory.