In the dynamic world of data analytics, the need for immediate responses to data queries is a common challenge. Whether it’s a last-minute request from a manager, an impending board meeting, or a sudden, previously overlooked question from the executive team- analysts and ground-level practitioners often find themselves caught in the crossfire of urgent reporting demands. While this can be frustrating for those who actually need to provide the analysis, we can’t always fault executive / mid-level management for not giving advance notice on business questions.
So how can you prepare for and minimize these scenarios? And are there any appropriate times to push back on these requests?
Well, just like every response in data science — it depends. These scenarios often place team leads in a true test of their leadership abilities, underscoring the importance of maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders and possessing a deep understanding of the business model to facilitate swift action. But through adhering to well-established development and organizational frameworks, you can position your team to be exceptionally well-prepared for these situations.
Here is what I have learned on how to best navigate through these scenarios in my career.
Stop and Reflect. Does this metric already exist in another place?
Stakeholders are likely not aware of all the reports that your team has generated. When an urgent request comes in their inbox, their first inclination might be that the analysis is something that needs to be built from scratch. This is an understandable perspective, as leaders aren’t responsible for understanding the ins and outs of your BI environment.
Take a step back, evaluate the needs of your leadership, and identify what existing business logic can be leveraged for the request. Often times, leaders are asking the same questions about the business, just with different variations, filter criteria, or against different populations. It may be an exercise of further…