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Recommended Data & Analytics books for leaders who keep learning

analytics books

To complement other book reviews we have published, in this post, I share a selection of data & analytics books.

These are not ones I have read & reviewed myself, but rather the best of recent book reviews I have found online. Hopefully, they are a useful addition to the review I posted of my recommended textbook, Guerrilla Analytics from Enda Ridge.

This month’s focus on data & analytics books is a response to reader requests. Despite the popularity of past recommended books on Data Visualisation, Leadership, Coaching & Productivity. Some of you have asked for a more technical focus.


Why business games are so much more than just fun

business game

This week I had the pleasure of visiting a business game being run over 2 days for some management trainees.

These graduates came from a variety of functions, including Finance, Marketing, Sales, HR & Operations. It was a really fun day & I was very impressed with how my new associates ran the day.

But beyond the fun, I was struck by what a powerful learning experience this event provided. There were several ways that participants recognised they had learn & grown as a result. So, building on my post about leaders as educators, I thought I’d share my own reflections.


Guerrilla Analytics – how to deliver analytics in the cut & thrust of business

Guerrila Analytics

Despite the plethora of good books on topics like Data Visualisation, very few cover how to deliver Guerrilla Analytics.

By that, I mean beyond the theoretical ideals of Data Science textbooks. Beyond just the coding challenges of how to use R or Python to encode a question. Books that engage with real world challenges for analysts.

So, I am delighted to share one that I have discovered that does just that. A book based on practitioner experience. One that addresses the diverse challenges to delivering effective analytics in today’s changing businesses.


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.