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Month: September 2013

Men in the middle see both sides of the IT-business split

The in-between people see it all from their position between IT and business users. Wayne Eckerson calls them the “purple people” because they’re half IT red and half business blue, and others might call them just con artists. By either name, they see more than the purebreds.

Today at the sixth Tableau Customer Conference, just upwind from Washington D.C, I ran into two men in such roles.

They appear in one set of clothes when facing the information technology people. Then in an instant they turn around to appear in other clothes to business people. They win the confidence of both. Read more

Quants vs “accidental analysts,” up close

In just two meetups of data analysts, Dave Wells has seen the quant-versus-accidental analyst rivalry surface.

He is the former TDWI education director and now a consultant and based in Seattle. He’s taken an interest in the last few years in data analysts.

The quants are by far the smaller group, but they’re loud. At the meetups of his group Business Analysts Collaborative, they amount to less than 10 percent of the 150 who’ve attended either event. These are the ones with training, the ones who squeeze all the meaning anyone could possibly find out of data. Their findings are solid.

But they seem to be defending territory. “They’re adamant,” says Dave, about the need for training as an analytic professional. They insist that anyone analyzing data needs to understand the algorithms, the steps to prepare data, and so on. If you don’t know what you’re doing, they seem to say, stand away from the data.

That the Business Analyst Collaborative attracts so few quants is fine with him. “The quants are already somewhat of a community, with the velvet rope and bouncer and all that crap,” he says. “I want the neighborhood bar.” Read more