As you can imagine many of the clients and people with whom we interact on a daily basis are data analysts or some form of analyst in one way or another. I’m amazed how we are still learning about new tools and data “tricks” all the time from the folks we meet. These are all very smart and talented data savvy individuals, but is being an analyst enough?
It’s tempting to lock our minds and bodies into our comfortable air-conditioned cubicles and churn numbers and crunch data all day long, and then lob it over the cubicle or office walls for our boss or peers to review, without worrying about outcomes, or the possible interpretations.
Being on the front lines every day the Juice Team is witnessing an evolution of the modern-day data analyst. Producing static reports, hitting the email send button, and answering periodic questions doesn’t work anymore.
The really impressive “analysts” we speak with now do much more than analyze data and produce reports. So much more that we’ve taken to calling them “data presenters”. There’s probably a much better name, but it seems to be the one that has stuck.
What are the attributes of a data presenter? Well, on top of being an Excel guru, pretty savvy with Tableau and not bad with SAS or R you probably have some combination of the following traits:
You know your data and business inside and out.
You care about your data being understood.
You need to influence or explain your data to a non-analytical audience.
You want your data to be viral. You want your initial audience to share the work you’ve done with others.
You realize it’s not about you or your data. It is about the bigger picture, i.e. making your team, project or company successful. It’s about the person who will be “receiving” the result.
Another observation that may help is that data presenters generally are not created overnight. They tend to emerge over time. And over time we’ll be watching, because after all, we’re striving to be better data presenters, too.