Is it one that begins with a 52km commute to work and ends with a 52km commute home? Is it one that finds the analyst satisfied with his day or frustrated and/or angry? Does this analyst sleep peacefully or dream of blue screens or wireframes and URS’s? Does the morning find the analyst excited at the prospect of new challenges or hoping that the day goes quickly?
My days include all of the above possibilities and more. Some are more interesting and enjoyable than others. But the reason I keep at it? As an analyst, I often find myself loosing track of time and place as I:
1. Learn to use new software to answer old business questions
2. Discover the source data that causes the problems downstream
3. Uncover simpler ways of doing things
4. Forage through rows of data, realizing patterns
5. Build new reports that answer unusual end-user questions
6. Modify reports to correct longstanding problems
7. Listen intently to a person, translating what she says into data fields
8. Design SQL queries for different legacy databases using multiple packages
9. Figure out how to make these queries yield actual data
10. Present reports to customers that elicit good questions and no doubts
I have managed people and projects, and sold products and relationships. All of these activities have proved challenging, but none has captured my attention in the way data analysis does.
That’s me, an analyst, staring at a computer screen, feeling that this user’s question is the most important thing. A thrill charges through me when I discover how the *!$%#@! (innacurate) data is getting into the database. I enjoy a brief sense of confidence when I identify a business trend that is built on (relatively) clean data.
BTW, today is a reminder of two things, Happy Birthday Ilona and 2nd, peace to all those families that were affected by the WTC disaster of 2001.