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  • Steve Hulmes

Data Analysts: Are you a 'number cruncher' or a consultant?

Updated: Mar 28

Your resounding answer should be ‘a consultant!’ 

That's what's required by your organisation; simply spewing out reports and analyses without consultation and by working directly from just a brief will not produce the best results and will not provide your stakeholders with the kind of service that they require.

Ultimately this way of working will mean less job satisfaction for you and frustration for the stakeholders. So how do you go about making the change? 

The first step is to ensure that you have the right mindset! :-

✔ ️ While it might be beneficial, being technically excellent shouldn't be your sole focus. Your job is to help stakeholders achieve their goals. If you are not doing this then arguably you're not adding value to the organisation.

✔ ️Understand that perceptions are paramount, however they are not often reflected in annual reviews, which commonly take a SMART approach to measuring role performance and can be less effective at gathering these critical subjective perceptions.

✔ ️Ask yourself; have I had any unprompted positive feedback from stakeholders recently? This may go some way to measuring whether they actually feel as though you are helping them.

✔ Remember, the value of your work is in its application and not in its technical creation. You can produce the most fantastically complex and sophisticated spreadsheets or analysis but unless someone uses it to affect their decision making it has zero value to the business.

If you feel like you are simply turning the handle on a machine, producing reports and analyses that you are unsure are even being read, let alone being acted on, then this may be indicative of you succumbing to a passive model of working. It can feel like you are are constrained by processes and are not in control of your own workloads. You can break out of this reactive model of working - it takes time but it starts with your mindset.  Start to work in a proactive, collaborative way with your stakeholders and you can become the professional consultant your organisation will value!

To find out more about how Sophic can help with these issues with our ‘Working Consultatively’ workshop and to view Sophic’s 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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