Q2: Can you tell us what makes you an Analytics Champion?

Well, the first thing you should know about analytics is that there is no one right way to do things. Analytics is in many ways a new profession and up until very recently few people have seen being an analyst as career path. In fact the majority of analysts became so by accident.

Like in my case, most analyst are drawn to analytics because they like to solve problems, have an affinity for working with data, are tech savvy and above all else… insatiably curious. By the time I first had analyst in my title, I had already been doing analytics for several years.

Right out of college I found my novice skills with Excel, my interest in sharing knowledge and my ability to solve problems leading labeling me the data guy. There is nothing specific in my background that would suggest I’d become an analytics guru someday.

Majored in History with a plan to be a teacher. Obtained my Master’s Degree in Education. Started to teach. The school I was working at went bankrupt. Took a job with Wells Fargo Bank just to pay the bills and 15 years later I had amassed a wide range of analytics skills.

If you ask anyone with analyst in their job title, most of them have similar stories. Until recently you could not even get a degree in analytics as schools are just now offering analytics focused courses and degrees.

In 1998, I had the good fortune of being hired by Wells Fargo. The factors that contributed most to my success with the bank were two things inherit in the culture; its progressive use of data in decision-making and its accepted practice of moving up the corporate ladder by moving between departments.

If I had to pick one thing above all others that had made me a good analyst, it is my ability to quickly assess a problem and then identify the data needed to solve the problem.  For my money, finding the right data is the most important trait to have and also the hardest to teach. It comes out of being curious and letting that curiosity drive you to find answers.

For 15 years that drive lead me to add new skills, learn new technologies, and develop new methods to become a proverbial jack of all trades when it comes to analytics. I often describe myself as a super hero, analytics being my super power and the wide range of skills I’ve picked up being items on my utility belt.


I am far from an expert on most of the ever increasing number of analytics tools out there, but I know what they can do and what they are good at. There are definitely a lot of people who are better at different aspects of analytics and no one can know it all. But in the end, I have become in many ways a guru of analytics.

I love talking about analytics, explaining it in layman’s terms, empowering people new to the concept, turning on the light in a dark room. I also love talking about prescriptive analytics models, using SQL code to write a complex join between data tables or figuring out what tool would be best use to build a business dashboard.

Providing people with the fundamentals of analytics is what I have been destined to do.

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.