Generally, when we think about analytics, we see numbers, KPIs, endless rows of data, structured or unstructured, the excruciating pain of figuring out how to import everything and organize it. But we sometimes forget that everything starts from the foundation.
Being an analyst resembles Maslow’s Pyramid of needs, a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.
Of course, for analysts, the levels are not the classical ones, we have to adapt them and shift the focus from our own desires and needs to our customer’s. But one aspect is unmistakably the same: there is a deep structure in an analyst’s life; one clearly defined by a hierarchy of needs.
In the classic understanding of Maslow’s scheme, you have the psychological and biological needs at the foundation, and building on that foundation, safety, love and belongingness, esteem, and finally self-actualization needs towards the top.
However, in a “Maslow’s Pyramid for analysts”, its entire structure will be based on ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. And then, as you step up towards the top of the hierarchy, you’ll see all those exciting processes that turn an analyst into an artist, building a measurement plan, building an SDR (Solution Design Reference), taking action and implementing ideas from scratch, and, in the end, at the very top of the pyramid, providing transformational insights for the clients and helping them improve their business.
Before starting any new project, before getting to the fun part of deep diving into the data, you need to think of a list of “right” questions to ask the client, and then interview all the stakeholders in the business. This is the key to building any SDR, which basically is your ‘treasure map’, the blueprint for your analytics implementation.
“Before you step into a meeting with a client you must already have your plan in mind, you must already know what the business is doing, how that client is making money. Your role as an analyst will also be to lead the meeting where you want it to go”, to quote Cat Iuga, our Chief Analyst, from one of his trainings.
This is the first article of the “Analytics Training Grounds” series. Keep an eye on our blog to see how to create the right measurement plan.