A Different Kind of Analytics Translator

A Different Kind of Analytics Translator

I recently had the opportunity to speak to two very different groups that are each close to my heart – the local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter, and the Des Moines Data & Analytics Meetup group.

to the HR professionals I spoke on analytics


to the Analytics professionals I spoke about performing at a high level

Analytics Translator

About a year ago I was talking about my business with another local leadership coach.  After she listened to me explain the nature of my work, she described what I do as an “analytics translator,” an intepretor of sorts for communications between HR and Analytics.  I like her description of my work.  How does “analytics translator” fit what I do?  I support HR and analytics departments and the challenges they face, particularly with communications, in their work together.  I assist analytics leaders in delivering clear information that meets the needs of their HR department needs with respect to job positions and classifications (i.e. clarification between junior and senior positions).  I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be for HR to understand the technical aspects of analytics, and how analytics leaders are often frustrated by HR rules.

I have to be cautious in calling myself an “analytics translator”.  The term is gaining traction across the country as analytics teams grow in size, increase their focus on serving customer needs and increase adoption rates of models and dashboards.  The role of  “analytics translator” (also called an analytics catalyst) is typically a specific position in the analytics department that translates business needs into analytics projects, similar to the work of a business analyst for an IT department.  This is becoming a very important role!

Translating Between HR & Analytics

My background in accounting helps me tremendously in my work to create role clarification for analytics departments.  It is so important to show analytics employees how to identify and reach their career potential, what it takes to advance to the next level, and why it’s important to be consistent across the organization. I enjoy taking complex topics (i.e. “what is a data scientist and how is it different from a data analyst?”) and breaking it down into a language that makes sense to the HR professionals.  From artificial intelligence to visualization specialists, the impact of analytics technology on the workforce is staggering. My presentations to HR colleagues provide a high-level overview of roles, skills, and competencies of analytics talent.

I also work one-on-one with analytics professionals on the aspects of their jobs that don’t include numbers or graphs.  My presentation to the Des Moines Analytics group highlighted the importance of knowing where you are heading in your career and in your character, having vision and focus, while also increasing your understanding of your unique qualities and what you bring to the table. I am a firm believer that understanding your personality traits is the best place to start identifying your strengths and what you bring to the team.  These are not the thoughts of a typical, analytics professional, but they are so important to performing at a high level in the job!

No Comments

There is no comment for this post

Leave a Reply