I’ve been giving some thought to starting a blog for a while now, but each time I consider it, that question inevitably pops in my head. There are millions of blogs currently in existence (I don’t provide an estimate here, as I could not locate a reliable one), so how could mine make any difference? What would compel someone to spend a few minutes on my blog as opposed to one of the other millions of blogs out there?
First, some background: I work primarily as an analyst, which, according to the American Heritage College Dictionary, is “a person who studies the constituent parts of a whole and the interrelationships between them.” [The word analysis is derived from the Greek term analusis (“a dissolving”), which itself is derived from the Greek term analūein (“to undo”). Hence, if there is any doubt, the fact that I wrote that last sentence should confirm that I’m an analyst.] In more common terms, I provide information and research findings to senior management and others in my organization that helps them reach conclusions, make better decisions, and take appropriate actions.
As I thought about my professional role (that is, analyzed it, took it apart, and considered its individual elements), something came to mind. Proficiency in the tools an analyst uses to work—the databases, the software programs, the statistical models, the research methods, etc.—obviously plays an incredibly significant role in his or her success (I consider these the “hard” skills). However, I also believe that just as important are the analyst’s interpersonal and organizational skills (or “soft” skills), such as effective communication, big-picture thinking, working with and leading teams, and practicing personal initiative. With that thought in mind, my focus with this blog is on personal development in both the “hard” and the “soft” skills, as I believe that continuous improvement in both areas is necessary for the evolving analyst.
My goals for this blog are as follows:
- To provide a forum for sharing and distributing useful information and insight for those who work in analytically focused roles, and who wish to serve their organizations and communities as effectively as possible
- To generate and provoke thoughtful discussion among all readers
- To build and foster a community of analytic (and analytically minded) practitioners
- To learn as much as possible!
I look forward to the experience, and hope it is beneficial to all involved!