helping you master the people side of data & analytics

How are you scoring on your Stakeholder Balance Sheet?

The Stakeholder Balance Sheet

Returning to the topics of both Books & Stakeholder Management, I recently read “The Stakeholder Balance Sheet” by Farrokh Suntook & John Murphy.

I was tempted not to review this book, as there are elements that are outdated or I dislike. However, I still believe the content is very helpful & the structure relevant to help many leaders today.

The field of Stakeholder Management is too often vaguely defined. Leaders are given advice that focuses on anything from relationship building to personal presence to commercial awareness. All under the umbrella challenge of ‘getting better at managing your stakeholders’.


Narrative Coaching: helping your clients’ stories to come to life

Narrative Coaching

How could Narrative Coaching help you as a coach or a client (coachee)? How might it enable you to see more clearly the story you are living in and the choices you could make?

I’ve shared before, after the 2018 Welsh Coaching Conference, how much potential I saw in Narrative Coaching & how inspiring David Drake was as a speaker. So, not surprisingly, I bought his book.

In this year of living my identity as a reader, I’ve finally got around to finishing “Narrative Coaching“. Finding it both an impressive resource and a challenging read. But, don’t let that put you off. I’ll share in this book review why it’s worth persisting & a tip to make it easier to access.


Getting practical with a great introduction to DataOps & why it matters


Chatting with a leading light in the Scottish Data Science scene recently, we both agreed that the term DataOps is coming to the fore.

There has been a focus on DevOps within IT teams over recent years, as well as continued demand for Data Science. So, highlighting the need for this overlapping skillset is not surprising.

However, a new book “Practical DataOps: delivering agile Data Science at scale” brings to life the need for this specialism. The author, Harvinder Atwal, is well qualified to share on this subject. Harvinder is currently CDO for MoneySupermarket Group. He’s also led analytics & data science development in Lloyds Banking Group & dunnhumby.


How to avoid being deceived by the ways charts can lie


To finalise our series on values, I offer a book review to help analysts not lie. Well, actually it’s as much to help leaders avoid being deceived.

The book in question is the brilliantly timely “How Charts Lie” by Alberto Cairo. Those familiar with the field of Data Visualisation will already know Alberto’s name from either his presentations or his past books “The Truthful Art” & “The Functional Art”.

Alberto is the Knight Chair of Visual Journalism at the University of Miami. How cool a job title is that? With a background in journalism, in this book, he turns his attention to the layperson.


Would you benefit from Digital Minimalism to reduce your screen addiction?

Digital Minimalism

At the start of 2020, I committed to reading more non-fiction, the first book I read was Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport.

I’ve shared a book review of Cal’s previous classic, “Deep Work“. As that post explains, that book focusses on how to be less distracted so as to produce greater quality work. In Digital Minimalism, Cal turns his attention to our personal lives.

It seems fitting to be sharing this book review at a time when our theme is Values-Based Leadership. I say that because my coaching work confirms how many leaders want to protect more time. Time for deeper thinking & stronger relationships. This book might just be that opportunity.


Why you need Rebel Ideas within your Data Science team

Rebel Ideas

Building on our continued focus on getting work delivered, what’s the role of rebel ideas?

Many miles of copy have been written on the advantages of diverse teams. But all too often this thinking is only skin deep. That is it focusses on racial, gender & sexual orientation diversity.

There can be a lot more benefit in having team members who actually think differently. What is called Cognitive Diversity. I’ve seen that in both the teams I’ve lead and at my clients’ offices. So, when regular guest blogger Harry Powell approached me with his latest book review, I was sold.


Why you need the 4 Disciplines of Execution in Analytics


When I talk with Data & Analytics leaders, a common challenge they mention is with execution. Getting work delivered & acted upon or implemented.

So much good thinking & methodology during the early stages & technical development can be wasted by final execution.

For that reason, I thought it would be helpful to share another book that I recommend. One that many others recommended to me. “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey & Jim Huling.