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Delivering far reaching outcomes, not just technology

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Turning your business problems into successful outcomes.

When you need business outcomes, technology alone won’t always deliver. Demarq do things holistically. We’re highly technical. But we’re also problem solvers. Through the combination of qualities we offer, delivered in the step by step approach we call Pathways, we’ll get you on course to achieving the business outcomes you want.

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People. Data. Technology.

It starts with discovery. We listen, we assess.

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Skills. Expertise.

We offer a phenomenal team of experts with a passion for finding solutions.

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Service. Excellence. Integrity.

We’ll show you the simplest, clearest and least expensive way to achieving the best results. (We’ll never sell you technology or consultancy you don’t need.)

Lift off to better business outcomes

Who are we?

Assured technical expertise.

Customers want outcomes, not just technology. That’s where Demarq believe we can really help you.

We’re an independent technical consultancy that puts your business objectives at the centre of ours. Customer Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management and Environment Management are our areas of expertise. Discover more…

Blog

The three key elements of data storytelling

In life, stories help us make experiences more meaningful. If delivered in an engaging way, they can also inspire us to take action. Stories provoke reflection and contemplation, often bringing out insights that may not have been easily understood or explained.

Storytelling, however, may be avoided by your data analysts; perhaps they believe it’s less important than the data, or an unnecessary or uncomfortable task.

Did you know, however, that many analysts acknowledge that data insights are integral to their business’ long-term strategy according to Survey Gizmo? But almost half say they are only sometimes able to communicate these data findings to their key stakeholders.

The more digestible and engaging your analysts’ data ‘story’, the more their audience will value it. When data is coupled with narrative, it explains what’s happening and why. It can lead business stakeholders to valuable conclusions, and elevates the value of your team within the business.

“To tell a story, you have to be able to aggregate and assimilate a lot of different types of data.”
Jeffrey Belanger, Lead HR Business Partner and Head of Organizational Performance, Pandora.

 So, aside from data science that underpins all data analyses, what are the three key elements of data storytelling?
 

1. Storyboarding

 
Firstly, when your analysts start planning their data story, storyboarding should be an essential part of the process. It follows the principle of a flowchart; mapping out the direction and flow that data insights will follow, from start to conclusion.

Approaching data in this way forces your analysts to think about it creatively. It helps them identify how insights should best be presented to guide their audience to a meaningful and valuable conclusion.
 

2. Data visualisation

 
Next, you want your analysts to share their data insights to the wider business. In a raw format, however, these can be visually indigestible.

Data visualisation is at the heart of data analytics, it is the representation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. Data visualisation gives stakeholders the ability to use information intuitively, without deep technical expertise.

As viewers, our eyes are drawn to colours, patterns and shapes. Transforming analyses into graphs, charts and graphics, therefore, allows your analysts’ audience to access this information, and see it in context.

Data visualisation alone, however, also has limitations. It requires context to explain why and how conclusions are drawn. This is why the third element of data storytelling exists.
 

3. Data narrative

 
Arguably, the most essential part of data storytelling is the commentary that accompanies it—the story itself. It is a key vehicle to convey meaningful insights, with visualisations and data being the ‘proof’.

By blending narrative and visuals, analysts can target both sides of their audience’s brains, cementing the information. The best way for your analysts to start this process is with a storyboard, outlining their objectives and goals.

Ideally, analysts should aim to only include elements that contribute to the message, keep to one point per slide and ensure that there is a logical progression from one slide to the next.

Unfortunately, the visualisation and narrative elements of data storytelling can be daunting for your data analysts. They may require additional soft skills that do not always come naturally to such technical experts. But, if your team members prefer to stay out of sight, they may be missing the opportunity to contribute more value to the business.

Storytelling with Data by Demarq Academy is a workshop that encourages data analysts to develop their soft skill set. They will learn to carefully consider their data visualisations and narratives. Skills like these will help your analysts give more engaging presentations, and vastly improve your team’s chances of delivering greater business value.

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Video: Do great analysts need more than tech skills?

For the last 15 years, Steve Hulmes, Head of Academy at Demarq, has been developing workshops for data analysts that are designed to improve their productivity, impact and profile within their organisations.

At Demarq Academy, we strongly believe that great analysts need more than just technical skills alone. Soft skills are equally valuable to keep their customers and stakeholders happy, improve job satisfaction and to boost their profile within the business.

Watch our video and hear Steve explain this theory.

The video outlines:

  • Why analysts should be involved from the start of projects
  • How analysts can make their customers happier
  • Why analysts need more than just technical skills
  • What soft skills data analysts should develop
  • Why analysts should take a more proactive approach

So, as you can see, a passive approach offers poor value for the analyst and the business. A proactive model, meanwhile, increases job satisfaction and brings happier customers. A win win situation for everyone.

Analysts need to develop their soft skills to move from a passive to a proactive approach to their work. The Demarq Academy workshops arm analysts with the skills they need for this transition, whether they are new to their role, an experienced analyst, or they are preparing to make the move from analyst to team leader.

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From data analyst to managing analysts—five key tips

Do you love the focus and satisfaction you get from your current data analyst job? What happens when your company pushes you further? If you’re an ambitious type, with exceptional coding ability, there may come a time when you get promoted from technical analyst to team leader.

So, when you’re placed in a position of greater authority with your former analyst colleagues, what should you bear in mind? You want to ensure your team continues to deliver results, whilst you maintain your own job satisfaction. Here’s five key tips:
 

1. Your team represents you

 
Now you are (or when you become) a team leader, your goal is to deliver results as a team, no longer as an individual. To do this effectively, you need to empower your staff to take more ownership of their projects and their final delivery. You’re no longer the one on the ground turning the cogs.

This can be frustrating at first if you’re used to being an autonomous analyst. Excellent managers, however, recognise that their strength is their team and their collective skills, not just their own ability to meet deadlines. This may take additional coaching and development if your staff work to different standards to you.
 

2. You will have to code less

 
As you move into a management role, your well sharpened technical skills become less important and your managerial skills take centre stage. This may mean less time doing what you love most, but if you continue to code, you may end up micromanaging your team.

You’ll need to step back from the details and allocate the appropriate time to managing business expectations, and delivering results. Your team, meanwhile, will value your ability to juggle internal and external stakeholders, fight battles on their behalf, set clear objectives, and involve them in analytical projects.
 

3. You’ll have to motivate others

 
As a manager of analysts, you may find that some members of your team occasionally lack your drive and motivation. This can be challenging when you’re used to being solely responsible for your own outputs.

In order to motivate your team, explain the value of their contributions and the work they are performing. Also, consider whether you’ve accurately matched the right team members to the right projects—do their skills suit the work they’ve been tasked with?

It’s also important to respect their technical knowledge, and accept that each person has individual expertise. You can’t always claim to be the expert in everything your workforce does. Excellent managers step back from micromanaging and trust their teams to deliver.
 

4. You may have to performance manage

 
Occasionally, you will have team members who need additional help managing their deadlines, achieving their goals, and generating their best work. It doesn’t mean they are bad at their job, they may just require support.

Recognise that your team members have strengths and weaknesses, and turn negative feedback into constructive feedback as much as possible. Explain clearly how and where improvements can be made, and offer valuable training opportunities where appropriate.
 

5. You should lead by example

 
You’ve probably been promoted to manager thanks to your coding abilities, attention to detail, your ability to see the business challenges beyond data, and perhaps for delivering engaging and valuable presentations on your insights.

The next step, as team leader, is set a similar example to your analysts. Not simply from a technical perspective, but other business capabilities. Demonstrate to your team the importance of soft skills like communication, providing a consultative approach to analysis and leading stakeholders to a meaningful conclusion with their data insights.

If you’re lacking confidence in your managerial ability, or you will soon to be moving from technical analyst to team leader, consider taking a course that gives you an introduction to people management. Managing Analysts by Demarq Academy is two-day workshop designed to help analysts like you adapt to the responsibility changes and mindset shifts that come with becoming a team leader.

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