Instructor:, Instructor at Stanford University Continuing Studies
Throughout this data journey, communication is always a big deal. I often get the question, “What does it take to be a good data person? Does it take a Masters? Does it take a PhD?”Indeed you need to know how to learn new things. I would add two things that have consistently seen observed in successful data analysts. Two things that are so personal. The first one is being curious. At the speed of which data evolves always requires to learn new things and be careful about what is going on. Seeing the emergence of new data sources and new ways to hack these data sources. Curiosity is absolutely critical. It will lead you to learn new technologies, to go after new data, and to talk to new people.
I want to zero in on how technologists, how IT engages with business people. I often see gaps in the terms and the terminology they use to understand each other. Gain an understanding and working knowledge of how IT describes their processes and how Business applies the data to a business problem, encourages collaboration and understanding of roles and responsibilities. “We’re business people, we want to solve business problems.” Of course, I agree, that’s the focus. However, throughout your journey into solving these problems you’re going to interact with data scientists, you’re going to interact with IT, and if you cannot ask the right question with the right terms, you’re going to be lost in translation. You’re not going to get the support you need.
Finally, being curious, being bold and being passionate is the last one, because in this data journey you’re going to encounter so many people, so many resistance. Having the heart and energy are key elements to a successful journey.