Are Great Data Analysts Born or Created?

Data analysts with poor communication skills may hurt more than help. Tricia wonders if communication is a skill or a natural ability. What do you think?
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8/14/2012 |  9
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Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/29/2012 9:40:31 AM
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Hi

"I suppose they hope to "mold" the person."

Thanks, we will see if that works. A new graduate can easily learn new things if there is a good mentor to guide her.

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/29/2012 9:30:34 AM
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He said it was not a heavy analytics/stats job so in this case it would work.  The person he had hired was just out of college so I suppose they hope to "mold" the person.

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/29/2012 9:27:59 AM
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"The manager said he could afford a second body over losing the customer."

This is a strategical decision and it does make sense as the company needs these skills to better serve its customers. My question is: can you train somebody who has good customer skills to become a good developer? 

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/16/2012 6:55:26 PM
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Hi tricia: 

This is a great way to determine resource allocation annd budget palnning while hiring. I am curious if there is any HR data which summarizes the percentage of people lying in each of those four quadrants you demonstrated.( rated by the hiring managers and recruiters)

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/14/2012 3:09:59 PM
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Hmm, Tricia. I agree that placing a great technologist who doesn't have a great command of the English language can be problematic in some cases. But in this case, if the person has  great communications skills, he/or she could still go far once the language issue is resolved -- in that the propensity to be good at describing analytics results in an easy-to-understand way is there.

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/14/2012 1:38:46 PM
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I don't think so.

Several managers told me they had openings for over 6 months becuase they could not find the right person (communication/technical).  I wonder if I just happened to meet a few who had this problem - how often that happens?

The other barrier I suspect is that the candidates may have English-As-Second-Language and they are just difficult to understand either due to accent or they only have basic English skills. This can create an issue if you need a customer facing person that may have nothing to do with the person being an extrovert. 

 

 

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/14/2012 1:15:50 PM
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OK, Tricia, you've proved me wrong! But do you think we'd see the same inside the enterprise vs. at a consulting firm, which seems to be the situation you describe?

Re: Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/14/2012 1:01:48 PM
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>>I can't see a company hiring two people rather than just one to get the desired skills -- unless, of course, the sky's the limit on spending for hiring!

 

Interesting you say that - one company did just that.  They were unable to find someone with heavy statistics/programming AND awesome communication/customer management skills.  

So they hired the second person as a project manager and were training her to become a developer also.

The manager said he could afford a second body over losing the customer.

Wow!

 

Two for one -- no way!
  • 8/14/2012 11:16:52 AM
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Hi Tricia, I think there's a need for both technical skill and communications ability and those who possess both will have more varied career options than the person who only knows the technology -- analytics in this case -- or who only knows how to talk a good game. From a career growth perspective, I think it's important that an individual comes to understand where he or she best fits. If the person is more comfortable with and thrives on doing the analytics work but not talking about it, so be it. There is plenty of need for that type of individual. However, if the person understands the analytics and knows how to talk about in a way the business understands, that means different career paths -- perhaps woven into the business unit rather than remaining in the analytics department, for example. One thing is for sure, I can't see a company hiring two people rather than just one to get the desired skills -- unless, of course, the sky's the limit on spending for hiring!