Industry Insights

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Your Analytics & Data Science New Year’s Resolutions

January 29, 2018

This post is contributed by Tim Ressmeyer | Founding Partner of Ressmeyer Partners and Executive Leadership Coach | 20 years’ experience as an executive in analytics and marketing research roles

Prediction: You have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions.If you are like most of the population, you gave up a long time ago. Some studies show that 25% of people who make resolutions stop trying before the first week is out. Of those that do make resolutions, about 57% felt they either met their resolution or were sometimes successful. Interestingly, there is an age difference. While 38% of people in their twenties feel they achieve their resolution, that number drops to only 16% of people over 50.You are part of the majority if you’re already not going the gym, or haven’t started reading those quality books you promised you would. For those of you still honoring your resolutions, good for you! (showoffs!)The great thing is that January 1st is an arbitrary date. What’s wrong with February 1st or 15th being the kick off to your plans for what’s next?We’ve already seen important predictions for what’s next in the world of Analytics & Data Science. The Burtch Works 2018 Predictions article highlights 10 huge opportunities for those of us working in and developing careers in this space. What’s really cool about this is that most of the opportunities build on skills you already have.

What resolutions can you make to build on something you already know how to do? Here are some ideas in light of the 2018 predictions:

Broaden Your Impact (Confidence)

As sophisticated analytics become more accessible, how can you use your skills to help an organization outside of a dedicated data analytics role? Marketing, finance, product development, and virtually every aspect of an organization needs this expertise. Is there an area of interest you can investigate and engage in? Make the effort to know you can have an impact in ways beyond your current role. Avoid the desire to passively let others move on past you, and confidently look for ways to educate other about analytics throughout the organization.

Create Relevance (Connecting)

Staying hands-on is more important than ever. Don’t just make it about you. Think of how staying in the trenches can help others. Step up and take on the tasks – even if they seem they’re beneath you – to keep skills sharp, mentor others, and show you’re a team player. Build relationships. When you connect with others in this manner they trust you to be a leader because you are looking out for them while at the same time advancing your relevance. Your mantra can be, “Be Relevant.”

Keep Learning (Competence)

Knowing Python is the new R means your passion for learning wants to kick in again. You’ve spent a lot of time learning skills to get where you are, and it’s again time to be sure you’re always looking ahead. Use your gift of curiosity and desire to do great things to motivate you to advance or develop additional areas of expertise. Reading books, listening to podcasts, talking to experts in adjacent fields, taking the time to listen to others are all steps you can take to resist stagnation and irrelevance.

Connect the Dots (Culture)

Since companies will evaluate their return on investment from analytics, be someone who is confidently articulating the value of your work. Make sure you are always linking the value of the work you do to the overall goals of the company. Learn what’s going on across the organization and not just your analytics team so you can look for ways analytics is or could have an event greater impact. Your ability to develop these relationships and articulate the value helps create a culture for the company of always moving forward and being optimistic. YOU are seen as a leader. Showing the ROI of analytics means keep doing what you’re doing, and make sure you’re stepping up and showing the value.

Are you moving forward, or sitting still?

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s helpful to think of the basic principles of physics in your career development. The Law of Motion and concept of Inertia both contribute to the idea that an object in motion will stay in motion – or stay stationary – unless acted upon by another force. They resist change.People who have developed stellar careers, whether they know it or not, have been abiding by these basic laws of physics. They keep doing what they’re doing when it’s working, and keep moving forward. Playing to your strengths, following your passion, overcoming hurdles, getting out of your own way are all ways to remind yourself of the things in your toolbox already that can help you move forward.It’s so much easier to build on what you’re already doing than doing something entirely new.These laws also posit that objects at rest will not move unless impacted by an outside force. Hmm. Where in your career have you been sitting still? Maybe you’ve been blaming others for your lack of motivation. Perhaps you keep thinking, “If I only had a better boss things would be better.” It may just feel so hard to learn that new skill and you keep telling yourself you can get by without it.Feeling like a victim in the workplace is not attractive and it doesn’t allow you to move forward.It’s not too late to make a resolution. What can you now to set in the motion something new to move you forward? Ask yourself: what are you already doing that you can build on. If you have a skill that’s already working, albeit not as well as you would like, it’s wiser to put your focus on developing and improving that, rather than creating something brand new. It’s an object that’s already in motion! It wants to keep going

Want to put together your own analytics or data science career resolutions?

Check out the webinar recording, where we’ll build on each of these concepts and more. Using the 4 C’s of Leadership (Confidence, Connecting, Competence, and Culture) we’ll look at ways to leverage what you’re already doing to drive career success. Impactful case studies of real life coaching clients in the Analytics and Data Science fields who have been have experienced these predictions will be included. You will learn from their stories what worked to advance their careers in light of industry challenges and opportunities.Ressmeyer Partners, led by Founding Partner, Tim Ressmeyer, has teamed up with Burtch Works to provide executive and leadership coaching to our network of analytics and research professionals. For more information or to get in touch with Tim, please email us at!