BaloonAnalytics are becoming an increasingly important skill set needed by everyone. We’re being bombarded by increasing amounts of data created by Big Data and the internet of things (IoT) both in our personal lives and in our jobs.

According to Gartner, 80% of enterprise employees will need analytics skills by 2020. Yet today, only approximately 10% of employees use data and analytics to make decisions. That’s a huge gap and raises the important question on how we can increase our use of analytics. The following quote always makes me smile because there’s so much truth in it. It’s not just about tools and technologies, but how you apply them.

The Stone Age was marked by clever man’s use of crude tools. The Information Age to date has been marked by man’s crude use of clever tools.” Source: Anon.

Not everyone needs to be a data scientist, but we should all be analytically curious and engaged. You can do so via both formal roles and informal roles.

Formal Roles

This Analytic Value Chain illustrates several formal roles by process and the types of skills needed/tasks performed.

Value Chain

Figure: Analytic Value Chain

Informal Roles

In addition, business analysts and business users are taking on new informal roles or personas that go beyond their job description. These provide opportunities to extend their analytic skills and provide opportunities to apply them.

Here are some of the key ones and how you can increase both your analytics skills and experience via these roles:

  • Divas and Demons: This extends the traditional role of the data steward. Divas and demons go beyond looking at data accuracy, timeliness, and accessibility. They also look at whether the data is sufficient, combinable, unique, and fit for purpose. They evaluate and consider how to integrate new data from external sources, social media, and machine-generated data with existing data.
  • Seekers: While all business analysts and analytic users apply the data they analyze, Seekers look for additional applied business opportunities such as competitive differentiation and improved business processes. They help identify and build business cases based on measurable value. They also help to document business value attained post project and help tout awareness attained.
  • Yogis: Yogis coach and mentor others. This includes teaching data, applications and tools, but goes beyond training and acting as mentors. They help others assess their capabilities and recommend further development options such as courses, project opportunities to apply new skills, and awareness of external user groups to network and share experiences.
  • Mavens: Mavens help drive analytic culture by living it. This goes beyond executive sponsor, the senior management team, or even manager roles. Mavens lead by example and serve as role models for others to do so. As analytics leaders, they acknowledge and reinforce analytics use by others. They may even play “devil’s advocate” and, when decisions appear to be made without data, encourage the use of data to reinforce or make better decisions.

Communities of Interest

An internal analytics community of interest is a great resource to engage, interact, and share information, best practices, tips and tricks, and so on. BI Competency Centers often host them as part of a BICC portal or broader BICC community. The community can be organized by topic, like training or tips and tricks. Special interest groups can also be created for unique roles or skills such as data mining, text analysis, and so on. Besides being a resource, communities also provide opportunities to blog and gain some visibility for your knowledge and skills.

In summary, analytics skills are critical for everyone. So make your day-to-day job more interesting and invest in your longer-term career opportunities by upping your Analytics IQ.

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Related Blogs:

Part 1: BICC Series- The Key to Operationalizing Your BI Strategy

Part 2: BICC Basics – Models, Benefits and Challenges

Part 3: BI Roles, Skills & Responsibilities

Part 4: Guerilla Tactics for BICCs

BI Competency Centers Help “Big Data” Deliver Big Value