Thursday, 30 of March of 2017

But Can She Type?

A few days ago, Gary Cokins asked, “Could Beethoven have implemented business analytics?” A strange question, indeed. After all, Beethoven had his own job to do. Can the average analytics manager write a symphony? Can any analytics manager write a symphony? Does Beethoven have to do everything around here? Or, as Seth Grimes put it, “Would Beethoven Have Given a Rat’s Ass about Business Analytics?”

If I may take the liberty of paraphrasing Mr. Grimes’ response, the answer is, “No.”

This reminds me of the once-famous poster: a large photograph of Golda Meir, then prime minister of Israel, with the caption, “But Can She Type?”

More importantly for us in the analytics trade, change to present tense and substitute any name you want: Does [fill in] Give a Rat’s Ass about Business Analytics? Unless the fill in is one of our own kind, the answer is still, “No.”

The gal riding next to you on the commuter train doesn’t care about business analytics. Your manager’s manager’s manager doesn’t care about business analytics. Your prospect doesn’t care about business analytics. People care about themselves, and their own business interests. While it may be true that business analytics has everything to do with that, they probably don’t know that and it’s going to take a heck of a lot of effort to make that connection in their brains.

What’s the lesson here? Next time you want someone to care about what you do, don’t talk about what you do. Instead, ask yourself: “What does this gal/guy care about? How can I relate to issues that resonate with this person?”

If you’d like a few hints on how to do that, read my piece, “Talk Analytics with Executives: 4 Things You Must Understand.”


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