Are You Optimizing Your Data Analysts?

Produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

How do you know if you're getting the most out of the data analysts in your organization? Wayne Eckerson, president of Eckerson Group, offered a quick checklist to measure how to support the data analyst at Data Summit 2023.

The checklist included:

  • Our data analysts can’t keep up with business requests.
  • Our data analysts are order takers who do not work strategically with business partners.
  • Our data analysts are glorified report writers.
  • Our data analysts lack sufficient domain knowledge to be effective.
  • Our data analysts have trouble communicating findings that businesspeople can act on.
  • Our data analysts are isolated in departments and rarely interact with each other.
  • Our data analysts spend more time finding and cleaning data than analyzing it.
  • Our data analysts never rotate through departments or build cross-functional knowledge.
  • Our data analysts lack curiosity or don’t have the time to explore data beyond actual projects.
  • Our data analysts spend more time maintaining past reports than building new ones.
  • Our data analysts continually reinvent the wheel and rarely reuse work from other analysts.
  • Our data analysts create more reports than they decommission, creating report sprawl.
  • Our analysts don’t apply the right type of analysis to business questions.
  • Businesspeople don’t view data analysts as strategic partners or resources.

After adding up the number of points from the checklist, Eckerson explained that points 10-15 meant that the organization is dysfunctional.

“From an analyst perspective, [if you scored] five to 10, you have an ineffective data analyst network. But, if you scored less than five, you're doing pretty well,” Eckerson said.

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