Business Analytics TIPS you Could Have Learned In Kindergarten 

Are you a new or experienced business analytics professional looking to become more effective, and you’d like some tips? Have your insights been solid but your organizational impact far less so? Fear not, my data aficionados, because this article is all about unleashing the kindergarten wisdom that’s been hiding in plain sight. We’re talking about sharing, focusing, and even holding metaphorical hands – all the things your inner kindergartener knew but your grown-up analytical brain forgot. Let’s get to it.


ABC: Always Be Curious (and Learn)

In the grand sandbox of business analytics, you should keep learning like your kindergarten self on the first day of school. Embrace the eternal curiosity that kids have and let that curiosity flow in two ways. First, continually improve your analytic toolset. Attend workshops, skill-up online, and most importantly play with new datasets (the Play-Doh of analytics). As you improve your skills, you won’t just know more. You’ll expand how you can see and work with data.

Beyond expanding your analytic capabilities, learn about the business every way you can. Read existing reports, listen to earnings calls, and most importantly talk to your business partners.  Ask different people about their part of the business, how they interact with others, how they see the business, what their pain points are, etc. Talking with your business partners also builds rapport, which brings me to …


Hold Hands with Your Business Partners

Picture this: you and your business partner navigating business questions like a pair of kindergarten BFFs. Holding hands in this case means staying connected, collaborating, and discovering together. “Holding hands” is also a two-way connection. On the one “hand”, the best way to learn the business side is to talk with and work with your business stakeholders. Analytics is all about context, and these are the people who have the inside scoop of how and why the business works. On the other “hand”, by keeping close to your business partners you will be taking them along your data journey with you. They can learn as you learn. Rather than waiting for the analysis to be “done” before sharing, share individual nuggets and include your business partners in discussions of what it all means. You should never unveil anything unexpected for the first time in a formal meeting, especially if the meeting includes not just your partners but also members of the C-Suite.  Share your findings early and often. Which brings me to …


Share Your Data and Analysis like Kindergarteners Share Toys

Remember the days when sharing your PB&J sandwich was a social contract? Well, turns out, sharing is still caring in the analytics universe. Spread the wealth of your data insights like you’re doling out Lego sets in kindergarten. As mentioned above, share early and often with your business partners. Share with your boss, who might have useful advice and can also help fill in context. Share with other members of your analytic team, even if they’re working on very different things. There’s a surprising amount of overlap in analytics, when lessons learned in one area can help in a very different analysis somewhere else. Being transparent is not just a good idea, it’s the secret sauce to fostering a data-friendly community. And finally …


Focus on What You’re Doing When You’re Doing It

In kindergarten, we were told not to eat paste. In the world of analytics, it’s not paste you need to avoid but the curse of multitasking. Researchers have found that when people think they’re multitasking, they really aren’t. Instead, they are switching quickly from one task to another, and each time you switch there’s a cost to your productivity. Don’t do it. Instead, focus whole-heartedly on what you’re doing and do that well. You can either listen to the researchers and me on this one, or watch a five-year-old building something with blocks while being totally oblivious to the raucous commotion around them. Analyzing data is less of a race and more like sitting at a big sheet of paper with fingerpaints. One seat, one task: getting your hands dirty while creating something beautiful.



So, dear analysts, there you have it – my kindergarten-inspired tips to thriving in the world of business analytics. Share generously, focus intently, hold hands metaphorically, and never stop learning. Who would’ve thought the wisdom of kids could be so relevant in our data-driven adulthood? Now, go forth, fellow analysts, armed with crayons and insights, and conquer the analytics playground with gusto!


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