helping you master the people side of data & analytics

What analysts can learn from Storytelling with Data

Storytelling with Data

One of the most practical Data Visualisation books for my clients is “Storytelling with Data“. So, this is a longer than usual book review of this modern classic.

I say that because it is not just accessible for those with no background in Data Viz but also focusses on the kind of charts most analysts produce. You won’t find admonitions to keep update with the latest packages for R or Python. You won’t be overwhelmed by award-winning Data Viz art.

But, before I rush in with too much enthusiasm, let me tell you a little about the author. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic started her data viz career at Google. There she honed her craft & transformed their People Operations with incisive charts. She has since gone on to found Storytelling with Data, her own training & consulting business.


Changing your life through Atomic Habits – why this book will help you

Atomic Habits

Recently, I’ve heard many people mention their need to establish new habits, so it was a great time for me to read Atomic Habits.

This bestseller from popular blogger, James Clear, is a brilliant guide to understanding the power of habits. Within only 264 pages (excluding endnotes), James shares so much research on habits & practical tips to apply.

So, in this book review, I’ll share what this book contains. But your real learning will come from putting the exercises into practice. Many are finding they currently have more time for reading & self-improvement. So, read on for why now might be an ideal time for you to buy this book…


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I was tempted not to review this book, as there are elements that are outdated or I dislike.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.