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We have emails, video conferencing tools, texting, group messaging tools, more comprehensive collaboration tools, then there are the trusty phone calls. We may be more comfortable with one over another personally, and we might like the shield and the anonymity that some of these tools give us more than others. But there seems to be a common misunderstanding: the choice of communication tool is not about what we are comfortable with. This is not trivial, especially now that more people are working remotely.

I have heard enough people say that they cannot be bothered with anything other than their one…


When the pandemic hit, I knew my business was going to be hard hit. I have had a small strategic consulting practice with clients in different parts of the world, and much of my work involved traveling to client sites and meeting face to face. It was a high-touch and personal experience.

And while the type of work I do tends to be directly impacted by the economy, the economic downturn would be localized or regionalized in normal times. So, if I hit a snag in one country, I looked for business in another, unaffected country, and on I went…


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Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Prejudice and elitism rampant everywhere. Even within the data and analytics profession, in case you were wondering. And I’m not just talking about racism.

If you think prejudice and elitism exists only in the society in general, think again. You wonder why people don’t care to do data and analytics the way it is supposed to be done? You wonder why analytics underperform so often? Professionals are creating their own problems.

I recently listened to a couple of well-trained data science panelists basically insinuate that “business analytics” was inferior and lower in quality.

There was a discussion thread that started…


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Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

“Everyone’s a data scientist–if they have the right tools”–a well-known business publication once commented on social media, referencing an article on data democratization.

This is like saying everyone is a driver if he or she has the right car. While that may technically be true, you need to learn how to drive, then you need a driver’s license (well, at least legally in most places). It still says nothing about whether you know where you are going–you need a map or good directions — or whether you are a good driver at all. Some people are bad with directions; some…


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The world of data and analytics is full of misunderstanding and misinformation. Unfortunately, a lot of this is perpetuated not just by data laypersons but by professionals of all kinds-from data scientists to vendors, to executives and advisors. It is a little frightening when we think about the fact that they are supposed to be the experts guiding those who are not. Since I sit at both ends of this professional spectrum (I am both a data scientist and an advisor), I feel compelled to address perhaps one of the most persistent myths about data: “let the data speak.”

Data…


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(Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

One of the persistent challenges in making analytics successful is obtaining quick wins. What the businesses often need is an analytics equivalent of agile sprints approach, in which actionable results are delivered in short cycles; yet for many, this continues to escape reality. Too often, an elaborate analytical project is planned and/or executed, generally due to insistence (on rigor and perfection), naiveté (about all that are possible), or neglect (of the original intent).

Contrary to the common perception, an effective execution of “agile analytics” is almost all about design rather than about tools and/or technology; the speed to insight is…


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I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with social media. I read what others have to say to be pissed off enough to be inspired to write in hopes of stirring up a discussion, which then in turn pisses me off to write some more to stir up some more. I guess I am asking for it!

A couple of recent short quips from me got some interesting responses. Here is one:

Me: “Many of the challenges in implementing effective data governance has to do with the misguided notion that it is about governing data. Data cannot be governed…


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Mark Twain, sobre su fascinación con las estadísticas, dijo algo así: “A menudo las cifras me seducen, en particular cuando yo mismo las organizo; en cuyo caso el comentario atribuido a Disraeli a menudo aplicaría con justicia y fuerza: ‘Existen tres tipos de mentiras: mentiras, mentiras malditas y estadísticas’”.*

No tengo problema con esta afirmación porque entiendo el sentimiento, y confío en que muchos estarán de acuerdo con que no toda la disciplina científica de las estadísticas es una mentira. …

Michiko Wolcott

Michiko is the managing partner and principal consultant of Msight Analytics, a management consulting firm focused on data and analytics. msightanalytics.com

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