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  • Steve Hulmes

54% of data analysts spend only 20% of their week doing technical work.

Updated: Mar 28

I recently ran a poll to gain some understanding of how much time analysts feel they have available in their working week to focus on their technical work.

As my workshops cover over committing I’m interested to find out what percentage of the week, on average, you feel is focused on your actual technical workload outside of taking time out for admin responsibilities, training, meetings, briefings etc?

Very often we don’t consider these extra responsibilities which can take up so much of our week and we can be unaware of how much time these demands take us away from the technical stuff.

The results were as follows:

20% of the week available to produce technical work 54%

40% of the week available to produce technical work 21%

60% of the week available to produce technical work 13%

80% of the week available to produce technical work 13%

As illustrated by the results it’s plain to see that the majority of responders spend a significant amount of their week unable to focus on the technical side of their job. Whilst this poll was based on a relatively small sample it mirrors what I’ve found to be the case in my workshops. I think stakeholders and senior management in businesses would be shocked by the above results.

Without a full understanding of what our true capacity is, over promising and under delivering will be commonplace.

To avoid over-committing and feeling that there just isn’t enough time in the week to produce analyses and reports consider the following and know that by adopting these strategies we will gain greater control of our working week:

  • We need to understand why we might, either knowingly or unknowingly over-commit ourselves.

  • Adopt practices that can help avoid over-committing and avoid common planning mistakes.

  • Be more assertive when managing expectations and deadlines.

  • Know which different assertive approaches to use when confronted with the common pressure scenarios many analysts experience.

  • Recognise the effective ways to either make or refuse a request.

  • Use Transparent Planning as a communication and prioritisation tool.

Teams often require help with these issues and need some clear strategies and tactics to better manage workloads. Once these skills are developed analysts can focus a greater proportion of their working week to do the job in hand!

To find out more about how Sophic can help with these issues and to view full details of our ‘Managing Workloads and Stakeholder Expectations’ workshop and full programme please click here.

However, if you’d like to discuss a more bespoke solution to your analysts’ development needs, let's have a no obligation chat to see whether Sophic can help. Just email Steve at

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