Magic number

Establishing trust is the key for one analyst I talked today at the Tableau conference. Two years ago his career took him to a small, private university where he had to win over a few well-established administrators. They were to provide him data and be his clients.

The key to trust for them was what he now calls “the magic number.” Sure, they gave him some of their data. But they didn’t tell him they were testing him. When he came back with his analysis, they looked for that magic number. If it turned up — that is, if his data showed what they had learned from experience — they relaxed a little.

It fits somehow that he has a Ph.D in psychology.

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

Other recent posts

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading

Bad stories stop good data at the water cooler

We agree by now that data’s a good compass. One neglected question is tougher: Which map? Everyone’s known the kind of “grouchy guy” TDWI instructor Kellee M. Franklin, Ph.D tells about. This guy knew better than most of his co-workers about how their Washington, D.C. defense agency worked. And he was frustrated. Over the years,… Continue Reading