Believe it or not, I almost turned down being a co-host on the Digital Analytics Power Hour podcast (DAPH) when Michael and Tim asked me. In fact, not only did I nearly say no, I considered it for several weeks and the whole time I planned to say no.
The truth is, I was scared. I was scared that people would think I was too inexperienced to possibly join this all star cast. I was scared that the topics and guests would be out of my depth. I was scared that I wouldn’t be funny or have good banter. Most of all, I was scared people would say cruel things, that I wasn’t tough enough to endure. I was worried that future employers would hear me utter an opinion in a learning phase, that years later had evolved and I might lose out on a future role.
I ran the podcast idea past a good friend and my sister, Michele, and they both said I was stark raving mad to decline. Since I joined the DAPH I realised they are right. All of my fears were just that. Fears. None of those things happened. Listeners have been so incredibly kind and they have humbled me with exceptionally lovely feedback. To be honest, I should have known this because one thing I love about our analytics community is how incredibly supportive it is.
So, what changed my mind (other than my friend and my sister telling me I’m mad). I realised that I am still learning. But guess what, as analysts we are always learning. My thoughts and opinions may change with time and that’s ok. But in the meantime, I might learn something or ask a question of the incredible guests we have on that may help another analyst (and myself too!). If my being on the podcast helps another analyst, then that’s enough for me.
Because I am newer to the industry I can also represent and ask questions for the numerous newer analysts out there. Not everyone is a veteran and I hope I can give those people a voice and access to our amazing guests. I don’t believe in “dumb questions” so if I ask something that seems obvious to some, I do so knowing to another person it could well be valuable.
Suffice to say, this podcast is part of my learning, and as I’ve gotten to know Tim and Michael better, I’ve realised that the show is a big part of their learning too. In the spirit of learning I want to recap for anyone too short of time to listen to all the episodes the big takeaways I’ve had thus far in my first ten episodes:
- Episode #68 – you need a band of volunteers to make MeasureCamp and Web Analytics Wednesday work – it’s also the best way to get involved and meet people – so volunteer (but only offer if you mean it).
- Episode #69 – we are all biased – you need to figure out a way to mitigate for your biases where possible – think about disproving your hypotheses rather than proving.
- Episode #70 – if you use net promoter score (NPS) and customer lifetime value (CLV) as your two main metrics you are on your way to customer centricity and your company will likely kick butt.
- Episode #71 – machine learning is not that scary – this episode actually kicked off my learning into this with an intro to machine learning course with data camp (also Matt Gershoff is a scary smart guy).
- Episode #72 – analysts need to figure out if they want to be business side or more technical – either way, you can’t be afraid to learn.
- Episode #73 – networking is not a dirty word! In fact, it’s through your network that you might one day win all of your clients.
- Episode #74 – if a platform doesn’t work for you, find a way to make it – aka the inspiration of Mark Edmondson creating all those R packages to make integration with Google products easier. Also – BigQuery – #justdoit.
- Episode #75 – understanding users interactions across devices can be time consuming, but ultimately it’s worth it. Spend some time figuring out how to stitch your users (leave me a comment if you’d like a blog on how to do this).
- Episode #76 – ultimately findings insights are quite hard and the term should not be used lightly (while actionable insights makes most of us cringe). Being a good analyst though, means honing your listening skills – it is particularly worth reading up on socratic questioning.
- Episode #77 – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – it is kind of a big deal and even if your company does not operate in EU, it may still impact your business.