Keeping Up With Data #62

5 minutes for 5 hours’ worth of reading

Adam Votava
3 min readDec 24, 2021

Bill Schmarzo’s article brought my attention to the image above (and one of the articles below). While Brent wrote about the importance of the last mile (and provided tips to conquer it) Bill brought to our attention the importance of the first mile in the analytics marathon. What makes the analytics marathon incredibly difficult from my perspective is that the course is unknown, so is the distance, the elevation, and the surface! Barney Stinson’s ‘how to run a marathon’ guide doesn’t work in analytics.

Anyway, we are in the last mile of the this year. So let’s enjoy it. Because like both in a marathon and analytics marathon, much as the last mile is often demanding, it is also incredibly rewarding.

What follows is probably the least data-related data reading list of the year!

  • Building the Future Organisation: 12 Predictions for HR in 2022: Ever since my first project related to HR analytics I’ve been following the trends in the industry. I find it incredibly important — it’s about people — as well as absurdly difficult — like I said, it’s about people. There are two particularly pleasant items on the list for data aficionados: #3 — people analytics is about business, and #10 to deliver, HR upskills to be more data driven […]. It is also great to see the growth of the HR tech market since the pandemic (#9). (Data Driven HR Monthly)
  • Sensemaking for Sales: While not about data and analytics I find this article very relevant to data world. Given the boom of data technology — especially when it comes to the modern data stack — it is great to read the sensemaking is a successful B2B sales strategy. Helping customers to navigate through all the complexities of building a data infrastructure is indeed a crucial expertise. And providing guidance in the midst of information overload and abundance of data is a killer skill for any data professional. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Why Data Storytelling Requires a Mindset Shift: Dashboards and stories are complementary. An insights funnel starts with an exploratory step — often supported by dashboards and reports — followed by exploratory (data) storytelling. What are the key approach differences between dashboards & reports and data stories? The former is focusing on the ‘what’ and should lead to questions. The latter targets the ‘why’ and ideally leads to actions. It’s true that dashboards rarely lead to action on their own. But it’s not necessarily a problem, when they are supplemented with the right analytical tools. Well defined reports & dashboards help to focus the analytics on what truly matters. Are dashboards dead? Probably the best answer is the German jein. (Effective Data Storytelling)

“In the Czech Republic, feasting on the day of Christmas Eve (or only eating meatless food) is a medieval tradition. The belief is that if one lasted until Christmas dinner, they would see a golden pig, which is a symbol of luck.” — Wikipedia

Well, with the fridge stuffed for the holidays I’m pretty sure I won’t see a golden pig tomorrow.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all the best for 2022!

In case you missed the last week’s issue of Keeping up with data

Thanks for reading!

Please feel free to share your thoughts or reading tips in the comments.

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Adam Votava

Data scientist | avid cyclist | amateur pianist (I'm sharing my personal opinion and experience, which should not to be considered professional advice)