Test your understanding: What does the author mean by “the opportunity cost of not having [an] extra business analyst”?
Explore: In your organization, what’s an example of “discrete but straightforward analytics projects that new colleagues can tackle quickly, adding value while demonstrating their soft and hard skills”?
Test your understanding: In what sense is hiring an exercise in predictive analytics? What is being predicted?
Explore: Starting with the premise that an employer should aspire to hire people who are most underrated by the market, what questions would you ask in an interview to determine a candidate’s hidden or underappreciated areas of talent?
Test your understanding: This section predicts that businesses, teams, and individuals will engage in multiple levels of sorting into live vs. remote work. Why does the author believe that employees will enjoy the freedom to find the level of live work that suits them best?
Explore: The author shares his general belief that selection effects are stronger than treatment effects, that “people vote with their feet and are pretty good at it.” Thinking about your own experiences, do you agree or disagree? What’s an example that supports your answer?
Test your understanding: According to this section, what is an example of the type of work that ideally should be done when all of the team is together in the office on the same day (within a broader hybrid model that has days when some or all are remote)?
Explore: Do you agree with the assertion that it’s important to leave some unstructured in-person time open for spontaneous interactions? What’s an example from your professional experience where an unplanned interaction with someone else has led to an important outcome?
Test your understanding: A 2018 Harvard Business Review article proposed the creation of an “analytics translator” role. What is the purpose of this role?
Explore: For your organization, which of the alternative solutions—actually hiring analytics translators, installing data scientists across the business, using artificial intelligence to take analytics requests in natural language, or a combination—would work best? Why?
Test your understanding: How is Google Trends data useful for helping distinguish underlying reality from a possible case of availability bias?
Explore: Take a look at one of the lists of cognitive biases linked in this section. Which bias seems most persuasive in explaining an irrational-seeming behavior that you have observed in your organization or industry?
Test your understanding: According to this section, why might we expect people with extremely strong political beliefs to perform worse than average in forecasting contests?
Explore: Consider this quote: “When selecting metrics, there are benefits to simplicity, but sometimes you can get new insights by combining data elements and creating a fancy score.” In your organization, what would be a creative idea for a new score that combines different metrics and would be useful in informing you about the performance or health of the organization?
Test your understanding: When forecasting a relatively rare event, such as whether a specific country will invade another in a given year, it can be difficult to calculate the base-rate probability (because this specific invasion pair may never have happened before). What does this section recommend as a possible solution?
Explore: What is an example of a time when you solved a problem while not paying direct attention to it (e.g., the answer occurred to you on a walk or during some mundane daily activity)? How might a business analyst benefit from this phenomenon?