I caught a fragment of comment on an analytics podcast:

“Everybody has been asking me, where can I find great analysts that have the analytical skills, the communication skills, and the business acumen?”

To which I laugh. Purple hippopotamus time? Mega-swiss army knife time?

They are so few and far between. They exist, certainly. But in such small quantities. And there are fundamentally good reasons why this is the case.

Maintaining subject matter expertise is a challenge – it mandates keeping on top of new developments and practicing them. It’s time consuming. (Seriously time consuming!)

Communication is perhaps a direct statement about the ability to produce ppt’s and being concise. Being a subject matter expert does not lend itself well to being concise, but, with training and time – it can be overcome. Powerpoint is a medium worthy of analytical study.

The latent statement in ‘communication’ is politics. I’d argue that most analysts I know have office political empathy.

Business acumen is the final leg in the trinity. Not everybody knows how a business is run. I say that many analysts understand some part of a business very well.

Well, if that’s what everybody is asking for, then perhaps, at the very least, some analysts should be using whichever methodologies at their disposal to learn how other people prefer to be spoken to, and to acquire ‘business acumen’.