Being A Great Analyst > Key Attribute #3 > Be Decisive

If you are a good analyst or a decision-maker that uses analytics, being decisive is much, much easier.

One key to using data and analysis effectively is understanding how people make decisions and what impacts the ability to make unbiased decisions.

A few years back I came across a book by Dan and Chip Heath called Decisive. It was a fantastic read.

The Heath Brothers are marketing and management experts who do a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t in the business world.

Decisive looks at what influences effective decision-makers overcome.

As an analyst, there are many valuable lessons that can be applied to both selecting data and presenting the analysis of the data.

One example of being Decisive that I use a lot related to trying to avoid a narrow frame. Too often we limit our choices.

When it comes to what data to use to answer business questions, we have to always ask ourselves is this the right data? Is there other data I can use to validate my findings? What data can be blended with this data to tell a more compelling story?

Being aware of your own biases will help you ensure you get the right data, that it’s what is really need to answer business questions at hand.

Being of aware of the biases of the consumer of your analysis (generally your boss and their peers) can help you position your data in ways that can mitigate those biases and let them see what you see.

There are dozens of examples from Decisive that I use in training people to be analysts and in using analytics effectively.

It is a book, well worth your time.

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