Monday, 19 July 2010

A Vision For Analysts

We've been having meetings about "what sort of MI team we want to be". I try to miss these as all anyone does is serve up apple pie. After the Leading A Team course I went on, I wrote this in an hour on Friday afternoon...

"Our first job is to help the business. We do that by responding to their requests and by spending time talking with them about what they are doing so that we can suggest MI and analyses they may not have thought of.

Our second job is to produce an overview of the business. Most of our colleagues are focussed on details and don’t have the time or resources to do this.

We take time to discuss with the customer what they want and need, why, when, for what audience and for what purpose. And we keep the customer informed on progress and discuss any issues arising during the project.

We keep up with what other MI groups are doing so we can benefit from their work and not duplicate it.

When we have ideas for improving reports or find things that strike us as interesting during the course work, we will not be disappointed if does not fit the current business agenda.

We are in MI because we like to understand what a business and market looks like and we like solving intellectual problems. We should be looking at things we think might be interesting even if no-one suggested it and we should be extending our knowledge of the tools we use even if we don’t have an immediate use for it.

We are surrounded by people whose job it is to influence, persuade and manipulate other people into working on their projects. We need to develop the skills and temperament to handle those people in a polite and mutually beneficial manner.

High-grade MI is produced by smart analysts using the right tools and adequate data. The team will hire people with potential and train them so that in two-three years they will leave for salaries way above what they could earn here. In the meantime The Bank will have had one or two years of a quality of work way above what it is paying for."

... and sent it to the boss. You may safely assume that if I'm saying we should do something, we're not doing it and indeed some people think we shouldn't be. This might look obvious, but none of it is showing in what we do. And I'm going to bet it isn't in your team either.

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