Humans of Analytics

Humans of Analytics

On a rare free evening in Bangalore, seeing my kids engrossed in playing with Lego blocks, I think back about my own journey in building and being part of the Analytics industry.

Did you know that Lego in Danish means “I play well” and in Latin means “I put together?” In many ways, that summarizes my portrait of the Analytics industry.

Once upon that time, when I started working in this field, Analytics was not the buzzword as it is now. “Happily ever after” was an ending few people could even imagine. It was an exploration for us, an exploration to solve complex business challenges using the tools we had learnt at Economics and Statistics lectures and chance to innovate on new methods.

“I play well” was evident among many of those early adopters of Analytics. They were people who could play with data on a vast checker board of unsolved business problems to create an entire new science now more popularly known as “Data Science”. I saw hundreds of such brilliant, “I play well” personalities in this field.

But there was a second type of personality needed to build this new industry. The ones who said, “I put together”. In a world where tools were getting obsolete quickly, techniques were new and untested and infrastructure was still getting built, businesses were skeptical initially about the power of data driven decision making. And the industry needed more than its fair share of people who could put together things rapidly – teams, a structure to solve unstructured problems, the ability to lead change and manage implementation, the mindset to build processes and systems that could last.

It’s been almost seventeen years since those early days. What’s this story like now?

As Analytics gains increasing acceptance in becoming a competitive advantage for businesses, we read about and experience innovations and new buzzwords every day. Technology and data are the levers that seem to be pulling the new economy forward.

But has something remained unchanged in all the buzz?

The rare breed of people who could both “play well” and “put together” have now become the foundations of the Analytics industry. Some of them may be brilliant technically, some may be smart negotiators. Some are creative thinkers, some process ninjas. Some help build talent; some make sure the coffee machine runs fine. They are all integral part of this growing industry. Their individual skill sets help them play well but it’s only as a cohesive team that they put together the blueprint for the industry. And we need more of them, with multi-disciplinary backgrounds, to not just solve challenges but also be cognizant of the increasing power of data and the responsibility that comes along, to uphold the trust in data.

Let’s continue pushing the boundaries of innovation and solve bigger and more complex challenges with data. But let’s take a moment to reflect, understand and celebrate the people who make this industry work. We may celebrate them for many reasons. Above all, for an industry that has given me both my friends and my family, I celebrate them for being “Humans of Analytics”.

Humans of Analytics is an effort to recognize this incredible community that all of us are a part of. It’s not about one single company or individual. Read the stories of people who make this industry work.

And if you are reading this, we are waiting for your story.

Author: Prithvijit Roy