Growing any analytics or insight function requires hiring the right skills for the jobs. Those jobs include data jobs, analysis jobs, and various shades of soft skill jobs like stakeholder development, project management, communication, influencing, storytelling and the list goes on.
Whilst there are some unicorns out there whose talents straddle all things techy data as well as business knowledge, insightful thinking, and fabulous communication skills, these people tend to be rare and expensive. We’re all in search of the ‘geek who can speak’!
Teams need the right mix and any strategy for growth must assess what, and therefore who, is needed.
In thinking through this recently for our own planning I found myself drawing up this skillset comparison. Before anyone gets insulted, I’m not saying people on one side can’t do the things on the other. But it is my opinion that most people will fall more strongly one side or the other. I myself am firmly on the insight side of the equation. I do have strong technical skills and could even code up a model if I had to (probably!) But the work overall benefits from me delegating tech tasks to someone with a strong data skillset and concentrating my efforts on the insight tasks.
It’s tough to know how best to develop yourself in this sphere. It’s hard to keep developing in depth in all areas. I often feel I want to increase my techy skills but it’s equally important that I develop in line with my strengths which are for planning, project management and people stuff.