If you think that your boss cares about reports or your SQL skills, think again.

It's not about analytics it's about applied analytics

Avinash Kaushik put some wisdom into the blue yonder the other day when he said “It's not about analytics it's about applied analytics”.

He was saying that #data people often care more about the business of #analytics (the technical setup) than the Analytics of the business.

Music to my ears

I thought it was just me.

As an executive in a business I couldn't care less how you get me the information. I just need the information.

Where is the value in needing to learn Python or SQL queries to do some BigQuery or AWS server lookups to populate a Power BI template somewhere?

Just do the basics well in a simple analytics tool and chances are you will find value in your dataset today.

99% of the world doesn't do that part well.

So what are the basics?

Learning to ask business questions and communicating your findings well.

It's the ability to take the business question and answer it with a solidly researched answer with the analytics your business has available.

It's about finding the missing data. Connecting the dots in your business.

Even if you aren't sure if you're correct with the answer you have an idea to test.

Once you can run tests with a business question in mind you will learn something.

Once you learn something the value of the work you're doing is obvious.

It has very little to do with code or tech and much more to do with critical thinking.

You can/might use those programming skills to help you.

But without the ability to take a stakeholder's question about saving, making or uncovering a new opportunity that benefits the business you work in, you won't have a long-term future as an analyst.

I've seen emails that explained a scenario saving money have far more impact than a dashboard showing the same thing.

Think about that the next time you spend months putting together the next set of dashboards.

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