Diverge & Converge – Finding Balance

Whether it’s unpicking the prickliest of thorny data problems or designing engaging and informative data visualisations, there is the need to use both divergent and convergent thinking. As an analyst, I know I use both and I believe that data analysis and insight work lends itself strongly to the design thinking ‘double diamond’ model (twoContinue reading “Diverge & Converge – Finding Balance”

Scaling teams part 3: Request and response

Here we continue the series exploring what’s needed to scale analytics and insight teams (parts one and two here). In this post we’re looking at the request funnel – the ways in which the team receives, and responds to, requests from stakeholders. What type of flow are we looking at? Flows from stakeholders to theContinue reading “Scaling teams part 3: Request and response”

Scaling teams Part 2: Kanban

In part 1 we established the areas of flow to consider when improving and scaling analytics teams (items in bold we cover in this post): Flows from stakeholders to the team Flows from the team to stakeholders Flows between multiple stakeholders Flows between analysts within the team Flows between analysts and other collaborators outside theContinue reading “Scaling teams Part 2: Kanban”

Scaling teams Part 1: Flow

I’ve just started a contract to head up a Data & Insight team with the goal of scaling from two team analysts up to six in the next six months. Naturally, my mind has been buzzing with ideas about what key things are needed to achieve successful scaling. The team has been both stretched andContinue reading “Scaling teams Part 1: Flow”

Averages: Is it mean to use the mean?

There’s an often-quoted anecdote about the flaw of averages which recounts the story of Lt Gilbert Daniels. In the 1950s, the U.S. airforce gave him the unenviable task of taking the physical measurements of over 4000 pilots with the aim of finding the ‘goldilocks’ set of averages that would lead to better design of fighterContinue reading “Averages: Is it mean to use the mean?”

Insight Analyst vs Software Developer: Puzzles

At home, my resident software developer and I discuss data, tech and coding among other more domestic topics. These other topics include: what we’re going to have for dinner, why the purchase of a new shed was never part of the plan of action prior to destruction of the old one, and whether or notContinue reading “Insight Analyst vs Software Developer: Puzzles”

Deconstructing the mathematical bridge

For music students everywhere, musical analysis is incredibly useful for many purposes. You can pick out different structures from a musical work, pinpointing particular styles and influences. You can learn to recognise and recreate a composer’s sonic signature in orchestration, rhythm, melody and harmony. Identifying and contemplating these features aids and increases the overall appreciationContinue reading “Deconstructing the mathematical bridge”

Painting pictures with data: Emma’s year of adventure.

  How’s this for a year’s project? THE RULES: Do something new each day Do it with someone else Document it Pretty daunting, huh? That’s why I’m not doing it. But Emma Lawton is. That’s incredible. What’s more incredible is that in 2013 at the age of 29, Emma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. And, likeContinue reading “Painting pictures with data: Emma’s year of adventure.”

Why ‘I don’t have time’ is a lie to yourself and others

At work, time poverty is a lie, an illusion. In a company where everyone works the same hours a week, time is cancelled out as a factor in the productivity equation. Time doesn’t exist. So what truths does that leave? ‘I don’t know what I’m trying to achieve’ Sounds simple, but your goals and objectivesContinue reading “Why ‘I don’t have time’ is a lie to yourself and others”

Who, what, why and Venn

Vacation is a good time to contemplate life and career, fulfillment and frustration. It’s a good time to assess if you have the right balance in your life, and, if not, what might be missing. And what better way to make that assessment that using the favourite of data visualisers everywhere – the venn diagram.Continue reading “Who, what, why and Venn”