5 Characteristics of a Data Whisperer

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Kim Green


Welcome to our blog!  I'm a data analyst + educator based in East Texas.  I write about all the insider scoop on the data analytics world and a little about me.  Come join me on the journey!

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We’re all living in a world filled with data coming at us from every turn. I mean, think about it.

If you shop online, that’s data. If you stop to buy gas on your debit card, that’s data. If you stop at your local coffee shop to get your favorite caffeine shot, data. If you place an online grocery order, data. You get the picture. We’re all swimming in data and creating more every minute of every day.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is all good! Especially for people like me who thrive on digging around in data and coming up with clear and concise information that helps move businesses forward.

You see, I’m a Data Whisperer. If you enjoy data, chances are you might be one, too!

Data Whisperers are critical to any business and in any industry. Critical.

Data Whisperers are data analysts. But, and this is super important, not all data analysts are Data Whisperers. Why? Because some of those analysts are missing some critical characteristics that would take them to the next level, Data Whisperer status. It’s ok though because it’s easily fixed!

Data Whisperers are made. They are not born. (Good news, right?!)

So, how do you know if you’ve already reached Data Whisperer status (or maybe you’re knocking on its door)? There are several key characteristics that all Data Whisperers have and I’m going to list the top five for you here.

#1 – The Ability to Turn Any Data Into Information

To some people, a set of data is just that…data. To a Data Whisperer, it’s a playground. We can take any dataset handed to us and turn it into a killer visual report that can change the world of business.

Taking a data file with thousands of rows of data and turning it into a great, insightful report is second nature to a Data Whisperer.

#2 – An Inquisitive Mindset

There’s no substitution for curiosity when we talk about someone who’s great with data. You know they say curiosity killed the cat (for some reason), well…the lack of curiosity will kill the career of a data analyst. Data Whisperers are always asking “Why?” or “What was the cause?” as they move through a study.

Asking these questions results in a deep-dive study that provides insight into important areas allowing business leaders to make data-driven decisions.

#3 – The Ability to Produce High-Level Information in an Easy-to-Follow Report

A Data Whisperer knows the importance of preparing the report in a way that presents high-level information in an easy-to-follow format. A report packed full of advanced information does no good if the reader doesn’t understand what is being presented.

Most often, the person requesting the report will eventually have to present it to their superiors or another audience at a larger meeting. Knowing this, the Data Whisperer puts the report together in a way that’s easy to understand and ensures the requestor is able to speak to all parts of it.

#4 – Great Storytelling Skills

Whether written or oral, a Data Whisperer must have great storytelling skills. It’s often left to the Data Whisperer to present and/or discuss the report findings, so the ability to clearly walk the audience through the findings is a top skill to have in his/her wheelhouse.

It’s not enough to simply deliver a gorgeous report. Data Whisperers know that the storytelling piece is just as important as the printed report findings. Being able to take the reader or audience on the journey with you to establish how you came to the conclusion of the report is a dominant characteristic of a Data Whisperer.

#5 – Always Learning

Data Whisperers know the importance of keeping their skill sets sharp and relevant. The world of technology is ever-changing and there’s always a new tool or a new way to do something that needs to be explored.

The toolbelt of a Data Whisperer is heavy!

So, how did you do? Do you think you’ve reached Data Whisperer status yet?

No matter where you are currently on the data path, one thing to remember is that there’s always more to learn. With each new skill learned, your confidence level will increase. Keep rolling down the path and have fun on your journey. The life of a Data Whisperer is never boring and super fun – if you ask me!

Happy travels,

If you’d like to learn more about life as a Data Analyst and how to break into this amazing career path, check out my free training – The Making of a Data Analyst.

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