Posted by: zyxo | June 11, 2011

Does your boss wants you to do HIS work ?

In “Six myths about data analysts” I was struck about number two :

  1. Myth #1: Data analysts are geeks. / Fact: Analysts are good communicators.
  2. Myth #2: Analysis is all about insight. / Fact: It’s all about impact.
  3. Myth #3: Data analysis is easy. / Fact: Data analysis takes time to learn.
  4. Myth #4: Statistics is the most important skill. / Fact: Business smarts are more important.
  5. Myth #5: Analysts work at the “speed of thought.” / Fact: Thought is often a slow, non-linear process.
  6. Myth #6: Analysts are a rare breed. / Fact: We’re all data analysts.

Number 2 : “Fact: It’s all about impact

According to  president of analytics Ken Rudin at Zynga “Analytics is about impact. In our company, if you have brilliant insight and you did great research and no one changes, you get zero credit.”

Dear reader : what do you think about that ?

For me it is simple.  They want the lower level employee to do everything.  Not only the lower level work, but also the management.  If you, as a data analyst, discover something interesting, make sure you do not communicate it to your manager.  OH NO ! They expect you to do the work of your managers, i.e. decide who should know about it, pass them the information, show them how it can be profitable to their work, to the enterprise, convince them to change (is’n that change MANAGEMENT ?) etc…

I thoutht that managing was all about :

  • making sure you stay informed, means : talk to your data analysts, be interested in what they do and read their reports, ask them for new insights
  • using that information to chose the way you want to go
  • performing the necessary actions to get everyone with you along that way
  • making sure that you get feedback about the results of the change process
  • adding corrections if the results are not satisfactory
  • etc.

I know, managers want an easy life:

  • showing up unprepared at meetings
  • making decisions about necessary changes, not data driven, but more on gut feeling
  • (eventually) communicating these necessary changes
  • several months later by coincidence finding out that the changes never took place, not realizing they themselves did absolutely nothing to make it happen

So that’s why they think you are only a good data analyst if you do a good job at analyzing data AND a great job at doing the work they are supposed to do.


  1. You should be the manager. Keep your data from your manager. Use it to take his job.

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