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Data Leader Digest - 8/26/2022

All the data and analytics insights for data leaders we've scooped up this week - 8/26/22.


What do we do when we get it wrong?

Business person standing against the blackboard with a lot of data written on it

Trust in data is often all too hard to come by. In this post, Benn Stancil (co-founder and Chief Analytics Officer of Mode) talks about the inevitability of errors when working with data and shares ideas about how to mitigate them. He also emphatically asserts that “the title of this post isn’t a rhetorical question”.

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Why it’s hard to ask good questions

Have you ever asked an analyst a question and had them come back with an answer to an entirely different one? Well, maybe that’s okay sometimes. Featuring Michelangelo and wakeboarding, this post likens the art of analysis to sculpting marble, and does attempt to answer why it's so hard to ask good questions.

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A better way to put your data to work

Colleagues standing in a data center in front of drawings of charts

A trio of McKinsey consultants advocate for treating data as a "product" and explain how it can help you be smarter about your data strategy. This is a great read for senior data leaders thinking about how to build a data-driven organization, and just as relevant for those of us who inhabit those orgs. 

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A critique of SQL, 40 years later

SQL is easy to take for granted - an omnipresent, everlasting tool, effective but not particularly elegant. So ubiquitous that speculating on alternatives or shortcomings seems pointless. This review of a 1983 technical paper levels fair criticism at the “Standard” Query Language - it’s a heavy read, but worth it for a fresh perspective.

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Excel forever?

excelNot Boring by Packy McCormick

Love it or hate it, we all use it. Microsoft Excel is one of the titans of the modern business world and doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. This author loves it, and that comes through as they emphatically make a case for Excel lasting forever.

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