As busy data analysts, your team members naturally spend their days immersed in data; it’s their raison d’etre.

But, despite their hard work, have you ever struggled with the perception of your team to the wider business, or external stakeholders and customers? This might not be a result of technical misunderstanding, it could be a simple communication roadblock.

Your analysts are more than techies that deliver numbers and statistics, they are data experts that have the potential provide serious value and insight to your stakeholders.

Perceptions are developed by the contact points people have, regardless of the communication channel. Unfortunately, being surrounded purely by data can generate an out-of-sight-and-mind mentality in your analysts. With a lack of confidence in communication and managing stakeholders, they may be unwittingly damaging the value of this contact.

You know that your analysts are more than techies that deliver numbers and statistics — they are data experts that have the potential to provide serious value and insights to your business. You just need to make sure your stakeholders’ perceptions are not compromised through poor contact.
 

Why is value lost from your team’s contact points?

 
What happens when unplanned communication arises from a customer or internal stakeholder with one of your data analysts? How do they react?

For example, someone rings with a question whilst your data analyst is in the middle of critical data manipulation. There’s a good chance that, despite being on the phone, your analysts’ mind is still deep in the data.

 Despite the tremendous effort and skills that are invested in uncovering valuable data insights, this value can be lost in transit.

Inevitably, the caller will not have your team member’s full attention. Your analyst may even be unconsciously curt or off-hand with them. It’s not intentional of course; their concentration is so invested in the data outputs, they are entirely unaware of their poor communication.

Unfortunately, these passing and seemingly innocuous contact points are where negative perceptions can originate. This, sadly, is despite the tremendous effort and skills that are invested in uncovering valuable data insights. This value can be lost in transit.
 

How can you ensure perceptions meet reality?

 
To boost the value of your team’s work within your business, you don’t need better data insights; your analysts need soft skills training to help them deliver their messages with more impact.

Firstly, it’s essential that your team recognises the importance of key relationships within the business, and can identify the most valuable stakeholders. Managing these relationships effectively will hold as much weight as their complex data outputs.

Ultimately, you and your team of analysts are judged by people’s perceptions, not your commercial value. Perceptions are the reality.

Next, encourage your analysts to put themselves in the right frame of mind when communication occurs. This is absolutely essential if you want them to positively impact perceptions.

So, when the phone rings, suggest to your analysts they switch off their screens and give the caller their full attention. When they’ve spent time undertaking work, ensure they put ample time aside for it’s presentation.

To help your team develop these soft skills, Demarq Academy runs a series of soft skills training workshops aimed specifically at data analysts. The Delivering Analytics for Business workshop provides a set of communication and planning standards that will naturally build trust and credibility with stakeholders and customers, helping your analyst foster valuable business relationships.

Ultimately, you and your team of analysts are judged by people’s perceptions, not your actual commercial value. Perceptions are the reality. Learn more about Demarq’s workshops, and find more ways to boost you and your team’s value within your business.