“You sir, bring me some data.”
Most organizations access their data through people. Real, live, people.
Somebody, most likely somebody at a senior level, asks for data. Then somebody else goes and finds it. Of course you probably know this. If you read this blog there is a very good chance that you are part of that data interface for your organization.
The analyst gatekeeper.
Being one of the few people who truly understand the data collected, captured, and held by an organization is a tremendous responsibility. What everyone else sees is filtered through your eyes and insight.
When there is very little data, there is less responsibility. Because there is less that you leave out when you deliver the results.
As the amount of available data increases, so does the responsibility. The analyst gatekeeper makes choices about what to share and how to share. And subsequently the amount of unshared data increases.
What they don’t see.
This is a choice that will continue to grow in importance.
The hidden numbers behind incomprehensible algorithms, and the hidden numbers that were left out. The unused variables left in some large barely accessed data warehouse. The other stuff sitting in Excel sheets or old Access databases that nobody is asking for because they don’t know it exists.
Most people won’t complain when you just give them what they ask you to give them.
But what I love to do is always try to give a little bit more. A little bit of extra context that they don’t know exists. Or something that lets them see the available information in an entirely new way.
More data, less confusing. Even when they don’t ask.
Because how else will they ever know?