The #1 Skill All Data & Analytic Professionals Need

Good analytics is equal parts business acumen and technology expertise. Even so, it's easy to become imbalanced in pursuit of ever-deepening data engineering skills.

There’s no question about it, success as a data engineer or analyst requires strong technical chops. With the ever-increasing data complexity made possible through dynamically-scaling cloud database platforms, such expertise is increasingly critical and in demand. And considering the excitement and momentum to implement machine learning algorithms, keeping up with the latest developments in analytics technology to support these efforts can feel like a full-time job.

Amidst this technological ocean, it’s easy to forget that analytics isn’t really about the data nor the technology. Analytics is about outcomes. Data leads to insights, which inform decisions, which drive business value. As our CEO Rick Hall discussed at the beginning of his recent interview on The Analytics Show podcast, analytics exists at the intersection of decisions and data.

He went on to give the following advice to the technology-focused analytics practitioner: learn the business.

Sure, at a baseline you need to possess the data query & transformation skills to confidently answer the questions asked of you. But arguably the greater contribution you can bring is to ensure the right questions are being asked. The gold star goes to the one who can take this a step further and provide persuasive business recommendations in light of the insights revealed.

The output of your analytics work has the potential to extend far beyond your official position or job title to carry compelling weight into the most strategic of executive board meetings.

Good news for the life-long-learner: Unlike the hundreds of hours spent learning the latest killer technology, the business knowledge you acquire won’t become obsolete. Understanding you build in this area will continue to prompt fresh insights for years to come. Your direct access to the data, the raw materials of business insight, gives you a strong head start.

Follow your own natural curiosity beyond the data and technology and into the value-creating levers of business success. To this end, a couple books our CEO often recommends include The Lean Startup and Crossing the Chasm.

At Aginity, our goal is to create additional business value within the analytics function itself by empowering collaborative analytics. Our software extends analytics capabilities to the edges of an organization by streamlining team efficiency and reducing time-to-insight.

Take a test-drive. Download Aginity Pro. It’s completely free for up to five users at your company.

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