Show that analysts are to solve key business challenges

  • data-business
  • idea
  • spring

"Analytics organizations don’t exist to write SQL. We are here to problem solve."


  • data-driven = we make our decisions using data
    • -> it doesn’t recognize the hard work of data scientists/analysts as the focus is on the data, not the analyses
  • data-driven vs analytics-driven:
    • analysts fetch data vs analysts find answers.
    • hire more and more analysts/DS as “hands” vs invest in infrastructure, tooling, and education.
    • “Can you pull these numbers…?” vs “Can you help me think about…?”
    • Finds data that justifies management decisions vs generate insights that tell a compelling story management can act on
  • As a data scientist or analyst, you are the person most familiar with data, so naturally data-related requests will come to you. My default response has always been to drop a query/dashboard on stakeholders ASAP, which I’d promptly forget about. But then I’d have to repeat the work the next time I was asked. Plus, this sort of ad-hoc response just reinforces the perception that your relationship with decision-makers is purely transactional.


  • Stakeholders need to get in the habit of asking business-level questions of analytics, not having data requests.
  • Make your job masterful and reproducible, ask the big questions (if not requested by the leadership)
  • Document everything (analyses, transformations, tables)
  • "Doing high-quality well-documented work"