Read between the lines
Updated: Mar 2
Here I pen down some key insights gathered over 7 years of working at the cusp of business and data. These insights will help you kickstart a new project or even a #newjob. It's a known fact that even the best of the best data scientists/analysts take quite a lot of time to gain trust in the system. Highly recommended for people looking to make data your friend!
Three things every #analyst should do when they join a new project/job, in this order
This has to be your first step! Only when you understand the business will you be able to understand data, the way it should be. You need to understand what business/vertical/industry you are in, how it operates and the role of your team in it.
To start with, one can begin by keeping knowledge sharing sessions with your teammates and peers. Make notes of everything you hear and try creating a team-based map. Understand how each team's role is and where they fit into the scheme of things.
2. Understanding how data flows into the team. Knowing how data is generated and stored, teams involved in enabling it and the data architecture around it is vital. Sweet tip: Befriend the #teams who enable the data flows. They will be your best friends. Well, they better be!
You can start by keeping a meeting with your data team to acquaint the teams to you, your role and how you fit into your team. Ask for a data dictionary and understand how you can extract data from your systems. Do ask them the general rules of querying too! Understand key KPIs that the teams know of and the most important tables. Ask them specifically about the mistakes young data guys do! This will ensure you aren't making basic mistakes and help make you not look dumb!
3. Superimpose your business understanding of KPIs, from #1 and try to get these through the database. Do this in an optimized manner, based on your understanding from #2. By the time you are through #3, you'll be capable of understanding problem statements better, QC'in your results better and have a much quicker turnaround
This is also like the litmus test to what you've learnt. If you aren't able to recreate the business KPIs or the right understanding of business, you need some more work, mate! But by the time you are done, you can expect to have a fair understanding of business AND data around it. You will have lots of questions and can go about exploring more in the system! Welcome to the team!