What frustrates product or BI analysts? If you're reading this article, you likely already know who analysts are and what they do. In short, analysts are individuals who play a crucial role in businesses and organizations, assisting decision-makers in making informed choices based on data and insights.
However, like any profession, being an analyst comes with its fair share of frustrations. Let's delve into some of the things that annoy analysts in their work, in their interactions with colleagues, and even in their own experiences.
What Annoys Analysts
Colleagues and Clients
1. First and foremost, analysts often find themselves frustrated by their colleagues. In the case of game analysts, these colleagues typically include producers and game designers, known for their favorite phrases like "I believe it should be like this" or "I think it is objective," which can be annoying.
2. Another source of frustration is when someone suddenly adds the analyst to a late-evening chat room discussion already in progress, expecting them to explain something simply because they are "the analyst." This can be quite bad.
3. Furthermore, it can be infuriating when analysts require access to specific data tables, but their colleagues are unwilling to provide access or, worse, don't comprehend the role of analysts and the company's need for their work.
4. Analysts can also become quite frustrated when they join a new company and begin gathering data for analytical reports, only to discover that each department has its own set of metrics (e.g., unique users = visits = sessions). Although the graphs may appear similar, the metrics differ across the board. Even seasoned presenters at conferences sometimes forget to include axis titles!
5. It's also irksome when developers label tables and documents arbitrarily. For example, they might name an A/B test results document as "Common," which can cause confusion and frustration for analysts.
6. Clients who lack clear direction can be bothersome. Statements like "Surprise me," "Make this the best decision on the market," or "Get me interested" leave analysts feeling as if they are expected to perform magic tricks rather than provide valuable insights.
Once upon a time, in one of Ukraine's largest banks, there was an analyst. In this bank's business hierarchy, the lowest position bore the simple title of "analyst," with higher roles like expert, manager, direction manager, and so on. However, the analyst eventually decided to move on and found a fantastic job in another company, enjoying a seemingly perfect life.
One day, he happened to run into a former colleague. As they engaged in casual conversation, the colleague inquired about his current place of employment. The analyst replied that he was working as an analyst. To the analyst's surprise, his former colleague responded with sympathy, saying, "Well, sometimes life takes unexpected turns."
Read more: 5 Key Soft Skills of Game Analysts
Laziness and Incompetence
7. It can be frustrating when analysts take the time to explain statistical significance to a product manager, only to find that the manager doesn't fully grasp the concept. For instance, they might review experimental results and casually remark, "Oh, they almost reached statistical significance." It's important to emphasize that statistical significance is an absolute measure; it's either achieved or not.
8. Some product managers mistakenly consider the number of corridor researches (data collection through polls) as quantitative evidence and try to use it to confirm their hypotheses, much to the annoyance of analysts.
9. Analysts are often exasperated when developers implement project changes with managerial approval before running an A/B test. This suggests a determination to keep the changes, regardless of their test results, with comments like, "We'll test it, but we'll keep the second option anyway."
10. Despite having analytics tools in place, analysts get frustrated when colleagues continuously ask them to find specific metrics. These colleagues are fully capable of accessing this information themselves, making it an unnecessary burden on the analyst.
11. Real analysts occasionally get agitated by individuals who claim to be experienced Google Analytics users and consider themselves analysts but struggle with basic tasks.
12. The process of hiring analysts can also be a source of irritation. Imagine assigning a task to an applicant, only to receive an answer to an entirely different question. Some applicants fail to understand the task at hand, leading to frustration on both sides.
During a job interview, one analyst faced a unique test that required him to analyze a time series and make forecasts for various indicators. Among the metrics provided, such as ARPU and retention, one stood out - "JAP." Naturally, the analyst was unfamiliar with this particular metric. Nevertheless, he successfully completed the task, secured the job, and later approached his new colleagues to inquire about the meaning of "JAP." To his surprise, they explained that "JAP" stood for "Just Another Pokazatel," with "pokazatel" being the Ukrainian word for "indicator."
Read more: 20 Best Books for Game Analysts
Misunderstanding and Neglect
13. It's undeniably frustrating when colleagues assume that analysts can do it all, whether it's "making a spaceship" or handling various tasks like data uploads, table creation, or market research, simply because they are analysts.
14. Analysts also find it maddening when a client insists that everything is in disarray but expects the analyst to make it appear positive.
15. The dreaded "yesterday" deadline is another pet peeve for analysts. What's even worse is when they hear, "You should have done it yesterday, and for free."
16. It can drive analysts up the wall when something changes within a client's company, yet no one bothers to inform the analyst that the report they've been diligently working on is no longer needed.
17. Lack of feedback is another source of frustration. Analysts put effort into creating reports, deliver them to clients, and receive no reaction or acknowledgment in return.
18. It's infuriating when analysts meet a specified deadline for a report, only for it to go unopened for several days after the due date.
19. The phrase "Everything is bad here, find out what's wrong" can be enraging, especially when the only tool provided is access to Google Analytics.
20. Analysts dislike it when clients believe that despite everything being "bad" within their company, the analyst alone can fix all their problems.
21. It is sad that nobody admires analysts.
A young analyst was assigned to a project with the administration of a sizable city, tasked with predicting tax collections. He meticulously constructed a regression model that was well-thought-out and produced accurate predictions. Content with the results, he presented this model to the mayor and other officials. He thoroughly explained the model, and it appeared that everyone grasped the concept and was pleased with the outcome.
However, the moment took an unexpected turn when one official posed a question: "Why is your model regressive if our city is progressive?"
Read more: 70 Links to Become a Better Game Analyst
22. Excel on a MacBook can be a significant source of frustration for analysts.
23. It's disheartening when you create a CSV file, only to open it in Excel and find that all the data is condensed into a single column.
24. Additionally, when working with Excel, selecting a column with a name and building a graph from it can lead to the column's name automatically becoming the graph's title and legend, among other things.
Read more: 25 Key Metrics to Track User Loyalty
What Analysts Hate in Themselves
25. Analysts often grapple with their own perfectionism. It's a common scenario: an analyst tackles a challenging problem, begins working on it, and then realizes it's part of a larger issue that should be addressed first. Driven by passion, they dive into the task. However, as the deadline looms closer, they receive feedback from the client, who expresses the need for a solution to the initial, smaller problem. The client didn't require an overhaul of the entire system. All the painstaking work put into the broader solution turns out to be in vain.
Whether you are a manager or simply a colleague of an analyst, you can make their life a bit easier. While you may not be able to improve Excel, you can provide timely information, ensure tables are correctly named, and offer constructive feedback on reports. These simple actions can go a long way in supporting your analyst colleagues.