Aberdeen’s research into the Analytical Mind Map, in which Aberdeen research has identified unique personas found in users of analytics and business intelligence products, continues to discover real-world examples of these personas as they use analytics in their business. Previously, we’ve talked to a real-world gunslinger and a detective. In this article, we find out how another detective is sleuthing her way through analytical challenges.
Stacey Swart is a Content Management Administrator and Strategist at a multinational information technology company and has been with the company for over twenty years.
The content she works with includes customer and service content, such as user and installation guides. This content is delivered across all types of platforms and can be pulled up on any device. Swart must work with data to ensure content development meets standards that ensure a consistent customer experience regardless of author. Her job is to focus on the tools used to execute the company’s content strategy.
“My approach is heavily data-driven,” says Swart. “I can be influenced by other perspectives, provided those perspective are also data-driven. My data-driven approach makes me always want to see additional data from others. All I care about are the results.”
Swart is wary of analysis based on gut feeling or intuition.
“What I create has to go up to high levels of the company. My work has to be defensible in the data. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for not having data to back up assertions. Some people have emotional reactions to things they’ve seen or heard. I have little use for anecdotal evidence. It can be a huge problem if it undermines what the data is saying and people get their feelings wrapped up in things and can’t be objective.”
Within the world of the Analytical Mind Map, Swart falls closest to the Detective persona. She is happiest when working with the numbers to create her own insights.
“My personality has a big influence on me as decision maker. I’m an introvert. When I’m thinking, I like to be head down in a corner. I’m more productive that way. That’s my preference, but it’s not always the reality.”
Swart’s devotion to the data does not blind her to value of different perspectives. Swart referenced a recent project where she was paired with a colleague from another group:
“This person was not an introvert at all and was not very data-driven.”
Swart’s description sounded like an Evangelist, with maybe a dash of Gunslinger in there as well. Evangelists gravitate towards others and work to spread new ideas and findings throughout the organization. Gunslingers lean on their experience more than data when faced with a decision.
“At first we were like oil and water. However, we addressed the differences not as a conflict, but as a problem that could be solved.”
Swart discovered that she could continue to excel on the data side of things while her extroverted colleague educated their coworkers on the findings and secured buy-in. The team was successful in leveraging data to find optimal ways to re-use content for consistency of presentation and efficiency.
“Before then I didn’t appreciate the value of collaboration and diversity of perspective. Now I always want to find out what people feel their strengths are and what’s important to them. It’s difficult to do all the data work and then also evangelize the findings. I now subscribe to the idea that there are different types of people who go about their jobs in different, equally effective ways. I think our decision making and resulting actions would be improved if people were always able to play to their strengths and focus on what comes naturally to them.”
Swart’s story validates the idea that different analytical personalities can complement each other and a team of different personas can add up to more than the sum of its parts.
For more on this topic, read the Aberdeen report Analytical Detectives: Solving Data Mysteries