Being A Great Analyst > Key Attribute #1 > Know A Lot

Often you here people in business talk about how it’s more important to be either a master at one thing or a jack of all trades. When it comes to being a great analyst, you see many who are great because they have mastered their subject or a certain analytics tool. On the flip side you see many great analysts who seem to know a lot about a lot and are proficient across multiple subjects and/or can use many analytics tools. So which is better?

From both my experience and my personal perspective, analysts who know a lot about a lot are rarer and more valuable to a business. Based on both an accumulation of knowledge and the ability to work in various environments, analysts who are considered to jack of all trades kinds are in general great analysts.

IMG_6912 However, I have also found that most business actually find more value in master of certain type of analysis work or someone who is great at using a certain tool. Specialization is something that is on the surface very impressive as it shows discipline and competency in a certain subject. They know a lot about their area of expertise and are recognized as such.

Occasionally you can even come across analyst who are both knowledgeable about a lot and even more knowledgeable about a specific subject matter. Now that is a rare breed.

So, no matter what type of analyst you are or want to be, the bottom line is you need to constantly read and connect and expand your knowledge… you need to know a lot if you want to be great!

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20 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do (Part 2)

Continuing the previous post about 20 habits mentally strong people have learned to eliminate from the way the approach life…

11. Trying To Please People
A job well done is a job well done, no matter who is judging the final product. You can’t please everybody, but you can always manage to do your very best. This is another maturity thing where you just have to learn it through hard knocks. I guess it wasn’t until my 30’s when this one really sunk in.

12. Blaming Themselves For Things Outside Their Control
The mentally strong know the things they can control, understand the things they cannot control, and avoid even thinking about that which is completely out of their hands. Like the one above, the sooner you learn it the better, but I think it takes seeing a lot of things crash and burn to understand it’s rarely avoidable.

13. Being Impatient
Patience isn’t just a virtue; it is the virtue. Most people don’t fail because they aren’t good enough, or aren’t capable of winning or succeeding. Most people fail because they are impatient and give up before their time has come. So true. I’m impatient with people. I’m impatient with inefficient processes, but when it comes to dreams… I stick to them and in the end they always work out.

14. Being Misunderstood
Communication is key in any properly functioning system. When it comes to people, things get a bit more complicated. Simply stating information is never enough; if the receiving party misunderstands you, your message is not being properly relayed. The mentally strong do their best to be understood and have the patience to clear up misunderstandings. I keep telling my team communication is not a process it’s an evolution. This is what I mean.

15. Feeling Like You’re Owed
You aren’t owed anything in life. You were born; the rest is up to you. Life doesn’t owe you anything. Others don’t owe you anything. If you want something in life, you only owe it to yourself to go out and get it. In life, there are no handouts. Such an important lesson and so few people get it. I wasn’t born rich or privileged.. I worked my ass off to get here.

16. Repeating Mistakes
Make a mistake once, okay. Make a mistake twice… not so okay. Make the same mistake a third time, you may need to consider that you are doing something significantly wrong. Some things just can’t be fixed or learned. Some people just aren’t cut out for certain things. Recognize this and move on.

17. Giving Into Their Fears
The world can be a scary place. Some things frighten us with good cause, but most of our fears are illogical. If you know that you want to try something, try it. I’ve known fear, but have never really been afraid… Am I blessed or just so open to the prospect of failing before I succeed that nothing really scares me? Both I guess.

18. Acting Without Calculating
The mentally strong know better than to act before completely understanding the situation at hand. If you have time to ponder over something and cover all your bases, then do so. Not doing so is pure laziness. You need the data, both sides of the story, etc… Another Star Trek lesson. Thanks Kirk and Picard!

19. Refusing Help From Others
You’re not Superman; you can’t do it all. Even if you can, why should you? If others are offering to help, let them help. Be social. Listen to their ideas and watch how they do things. You may learn something. If not, then you can teach them something and do what humans are meant to do: socialize. Ok this one I fail at a lot, I like wearing the cape. But I do listen, it’s the trust part I find challenging.

20. Throwing In The Towel
The biggest weakness in all of humanity is giving up — calling it quits, throwing in the towel. The mentally strong go about things in such a way. Only do things if they are important to you; forget the things that aren’t important to you. If they’re important to you, then pursue them until you succeed. No exceptions, ever. Yes! I’m gonna die trying before I give up.

I hope this helps inspire or empower or embolden some one. That’s my reason for existing… To share a little of what drives me with as many people as I can!

Cool Post To Share: 20 Things That Mentally Strong People Don’t Do (Part 1)

When I read this article it made me think a lot about how I have matured over the years from the brash and idealistic youth to the more seasoned, methodically middle aged person I am now. Thanks to Jen, my amazing assistant, for bringing this to my attention.

1. Dwelling On The Past
Mentally strong individuals focus on the present moment and on the near future. This is something I seem to have been born with, an innate sense of progressing forward.. I’m never satisfied long and always dream the future is brighter.

2. Remaining In Their Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is a dangerous place, a dark abyss where anyone who remains there for too long loses his or herself entirely. This goes hand in hand with #1, seeing life as a journey means sitting still is not healthy. This drives me… A sense of constant discovery.

3. Not Listening To The Opinions Of Others
Only the foolish believe themselves to be sufficient in all regards. When it comes to brainstorming, ideas can’t so much be forced as they can be caught. A very important lesson I learned from watching Star Trek! The captain always surrounds himself with smart people who help him shape his decisions.

4. Avoiding Change
What the mentally strong understand that the mentally weak do not is that change is unavoidable. Trying to avoid the inevitable is pointless. Therefore, trying to avoid change is pointless; it’s a mere waste of time and energy. I’m starting to see how interconnected these habits are… Captains of industry are bold risk takers.

5. Keeping A Closed Mind
You don’t know everything. Even the things you believe yourself to know are likely to not be entirely true. I’ve learned that a big ego is necessary if you want to lead, but it has to be tempered with humility to gather followers. Open minds breed one minds.

6. Letting Others Make Decisions For Them
Only you should be making your own decisions; you can’t allow others to make them for you. If you don’t have the courage to fail, then you don’t have the courage to succeed. This is so hard to teach, but if you can see the development of this in a person, it’s so amazing. It’s the core belief behind how I train.

7. Getting Jealous Over The Successes Of Others
When others succeed, you should be happy. If they can do it, so can you. If anything, it should motivate you to keep pushing forward. This is really hard for competitive people like me, but I have found this easier as I get older.

8. Thinking About The High Possibility Of Failure
Our thoughts control our perspective; our perspective controls our results. The mentally strong understand this and use this to their advantage. There’s always the chance you may fail, but as long as there is the chance you may succeed, it’s worth trying. Of all my flaws, the one that is also a great strength is this one… I basically think I can do anything I put my mind too.

9. Feeling Sorry For Themselves
Sh*t happens. Life can be hard. People get hurt; others die. Life isn’t all roses and butterflies. You will fall off that horse again and again and again. The question is, are you strong enough to keep getting back on it? Yeah, cowboy up.. It’s the best lesson I ever learned from both my Dad and John Wayne, who in my psyche are kind of the same person.

10. Focusing On Their Weaknesses
Although working on our weaknesses does have its benefits, it’s more important to focus on banking on our strengths. I really got this one when I took the Strengthfinders assessment. It was eye opening to focus more on optimizing what I’m great at and not worrying so much at what I suck at.

To be continued… 11-20 in the next blog post!

Philippines Analytics Outlook 2014 (4 of 4): Challenges of Hiring Big Data Talent

One of the biggest challenges I see in the Philippines right now is finding the right mix of talent and work ethic in analytics candidates. The core personality trait behind any good analyst is curiosity… the drive to find answers to business questions. The personality trait is however not one that is truly valued within the Filipino business culture. Asking questions can easily be perceived as a threat to authority and to the status quo.

When you look at the current state of things in the U.S., you can easily extrapolate that its even more severe in the Philippines. As the article in the above link demonstrates there is a significant challenge of hiring analytics talent, especially those who can manage and analyze big data.

“Over 300 professionals at the IT executive, director and management levels pinpoints what employers endure while trying to execute big data initiatives and recruit the IT talent needed to handle these initiatives.
• 88% of companies say they are facing a shortage of IT talent able to successfully execute big data initiatives.
• 39% say a lack of available IT talent is negatively affecting their ability to make data-driven decisions, while
• 36% are falling behind in their big data initiatives
• 35% have people in place who are unqualified for the job.
• Only 4% of companies rate the alignment of existing IT employees’ skill sets with big data initiatives as excellent
• while 56% rate them as fair or poor.”

In order to overcome these challenges business are taking steps to recruit new talent or retain existing talent for big data initiatives. The most common solution is to send current employees to external training programs.

External training is easier to implement than starting up internal cross training with other departments or search other departments within the organization for talent. This leads to pirating talent from competitors, which is very unhealthy for the industry as a whole.

So, it you want to stay ahead of the game and find talent that can keep you on the forefront of analytics, the best solution is to engage DMAI to either come in and train your team or send them to one of the DMAI public trainings coming soon.