helping you master customer insight leadership

What tools are in a good analyst toolbox? (part 2 = people skills)

good analyst toolbox

Continuing Martin Squires series on the tools that should be in a good analyst toolbox. In part 2, Martin moves on to focus on the people skills that are needed.

I use the term people skills for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there has been some online outrage at the over use of the term Softer Skills. Secondly, because the skills that Martin lists are very people-centric. That alchemy of attitude and interpersonal interactions that can make all the difference.

So, back to Martin to share what has has found is important amongst the many analysts he has lead. It may be many years since Martin has been a “hands on” analyst, but like me he has had many years to spot what makes the difference between analysts who flourish or fail. It is rarely the technical skills.


What tools should a good analyst have in their toolbox? (part 1 = technical)

their toolbox

Continuing our theme of tools for analytics teams, what tools should analysts have in their toolbox? It’s a broad question and one with diverging views. So, I am delighted to welcome back a guest blogger who doesn’t shy away from controversy.

Martin Squires is a very experienced Analytics leader, whom I’ve previously interviewed in our audio series. He has also posted before on why he disagrees with the use of Business Partners (a view I countered here).

I hope this post might be the start of a series of perspectives. But, for now, over to Martin to share his wisdom on what should be in your toolbox


Why non-Data Scientists can lead Data Science teams

non data scientist

Recently I spotted a debate on LinkedIn that caught my eye, it was about whether non-Data Scientists should lead Data Science teams.

As well as having a strong view on this myself, I was delighted to see a friend of mine weigh in with a well-articulated argument as to why they can. That friend is a man who used to be my righthand man during much of my leadership career. So, I was delighted when he agreed to expand his thoughts into a guest blog post for you.

Andy is a very capable statistician, leader and marketer. He is someone who have come to admire and respect over the years we have worked together. Andy Sutton currently leads data & personalisation for Woolworths in Australia. As someone with a foot firmly in both technical & business camps, he is a true hybrid leader worth listening to.


Data visualisation – my favourite tool for customer development

favourite tool

Continuing our theme on your favourite tool, I was surprised by the suggestion of Data Visualisation.

Despite not being what I thought of as a software tool, I think guest blogger Hanne Sorteberg makes some helpful points in this post. So, I am delighted to welcome back Hanne. She has previously blogged for us on Data Science, role definition & The Goal.

In this post, Hanne makes the case for data visualisation being a key tool to data driven culture change. She shares honestly what has worked for her & what has gone wrong. I’m grateful for her candour & pragmatism. I hope you find this post helpful, especially if you have BI responsibilities.


Why Magic Quadrants and Waves are critical to choosing your tools

Magic Quadrant

A few conversations with Customer Insight leaders have reminded me how many don’t know about Magic Quadrants or Waves.

Given my background in IT I am used to using these tools, from Gartner and Forrester respectively, to help guide tool selection. However, I’m aware not all Data, Analytics or Research leaders have that background.

So, I am delighted to welcome back guest blogger Tony Boobier, to share how these research reports can help you choose the right tools for each job. Over to Tony to build on his past posts (and this AI related book review), by sharing how Magic Quadrants & Waves can help you.


Hero or Guide? What story should you tell your customers?

hero or guide

Building on our recent education theme, how can you use stories to educate your customers? What is the difference between being a hero or guide in the stories you tell?

Recently I had a very enjoyable chat with an experienced Gestalt coach & organisational psychologist, Ty Francis. We chatted about many subjects, including something he had recently written. I was delighted to read that it concerned storytelling & customers.

The key premise of this post, that you need to change your stories to focus on the customer, sounded so right for our blog. So, I am delighted to welcome Ty as our newest guest blogger. He will share what educators & influencers can learn from the structure of epic stories.


Your role as an educator, how you can help your business to learn


Over the last 2 months I have been lecturing MSc students, so I’ve pondered your role as an educator.

Although we focus on Customer Insight or Data Science leaders being technical, much of their roles are education. Whether you focus on Data, Analytics, Research, Data Science or Database Marketing – I bet you face education challenges.

Think of the last time you needed to pass knowledge onto your team. Have you had to educate your board or executive committee? Do you need to be an educator to ensure your peers engage with insights that could improve your business?