What do analysts hate? Vasily Sabirov, Head Of Analytics and Сo-founder of the devtodev analytics service, as well as discussion leader Alexei Nikushin, talked with the audience about things that annoy analysts in their work, in colleagues and even in themselves. This happened at the Matemarketing conference that was held in Moscow In November 2019.
From this conversation, we extracted funny and sad stories, comments and conclusions. In the name of esprit de corps, we share them with the readers of the devtodev educational platform.
What annoys analysts
Colleagues and clients
1. First of all, analysts get upset by their colleagues. In the case of game analysts, these colleagues are producers, game designers (with their favorite phrase “I believe it should be like this” or “I think it is objective”) and others.
2. When someone suddenly adds the analyst to a chat room late in the evening, they see a discussion in full swing there, and that someone asks to explain something (because “you are an analyst”). Annoying.
3. It infuriates when you need to extract data from a table, but your colleagues do not give you access to it. Even worse, people who are responsible for these tables may not even understand what the analysts do and why the company needs them.
4. It drives analysts nuts when they are new to the company and they begin to collect reports to build an analytical report and then suddenly they realize that all departments have their own metrics (unique users = visits = sessions). The graphs look similar, but the metrics are different everywhere. Even the speakers, who give presentations at conferences, sometimes forget to add axis titles!
5. It’s annoying when developers name tables, etc., as they like. For example, they can name an A/B test results document as “Common.”
6. Clients who don’t know what they want are also annoying. They may simply say: “Surprise me”, “Make this the best decision on the market”, “Get me interested”. An analyst is not a circus clown.
Once upon a time, there was an analyst who worked in one of the largest Russian banks. The lowest position in the business unit of this bank is called “analyst” (then comes an expert, manager, direction manager, and so on). Then he quitted, got a very good job in another company and everything in his life was perfect. One day he meets a former colleague, they start small talk and that colleague asks where he works. The analyst answers that he works as an analyst. And the colleague replies to him with sympathy: “Well, stuff happens.”
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Laziness and incompetence
7. Analysts get irritated when they explain the statistical significance to a product manager, but the manager doesn't fully understand it. For example, they look at the results of some experiments and say, “Oh, they almost reached statistical significance.” Statistical significance is never "almost."
8. There are a lot of product managers that believe the number of corridor researches (the process of data collection through a poll) can be considered as quantitative evidence, and they try to use it to confirm their hypothesis.
9. They also hate developers who have already implemented changes to the project, have got the manager's approval and only after that run A/B test because they are determined to keep the changes regardless of their results. “We will test it, of course, but we will keep the second option anyway.”
10. It drives nuts when the analytics has been set up, but colleagues still come to the analyst and ask to look for a metric. But they are perfectly capable of checking it without assistance!
11. People who claim to be experienced users of Google Analytics and therefore consider themselves analysts, but can not do basic things, also enrage real analysts sometimes.
12. The problem of hiring analysts is also irritating. Picture this: you give a task to an applicant, and the analyst-to-be gives you an answer to another question. That is, some applicants do not understand what you are asking at all.
One analyst had a job interview where he was given a test. In this test case, he needed to analyze a time series and forecast what is going to happen with the indicators. He was given several metrics - ARPU, retention, and something else from the standard set. But one of the indicators he needed to analyze was called “JAP”. Of course, the analyst did not know anything about this metric. But he performed the task well, got the job and later asked his new colleagues what “JAP” means. And they said, “It's just Just Another Pokazatel” (“pokazatel” - is a Russian word for “indicator”).
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Misunderstanding and neglect
13. It’s very annoying when colleagues say: “Make this, do that (make a spaceship), you're an analyst, aren’t you?” Upload data, create a table, conduct market research, etc.
14. It makes the analysts mad when a client says that everything is bad, but you have to make it look good.
15. Analysts also hate the "yesterday" deadline. And even more, they hate “You had to do it yesterday and for free.”
16. It drives nuts when something changes at the customer’s company, but no one cares to say the analyst, that the report he is working on, is no longer needed.
17. They hate the lack of feedback. For example, when the analyst made a report, gave it to a client and received absolutely no reaction.
18. It makes analysts very angry when they make a report prior to a certain deadline, but no one opens it for several days after this date.
19. Enrages: “Everything is bad here, find what exactly.” And they only give access to Google Analytics.
20. They hate when the client thinks: “Everything is bad in our company, but the analyst will fix all our problems.”
21. It is sad that nobody admires analysts.
One young analyst worked with the administration of a rather large Russian city and was engaged in a project on predicting the tax collection. He built a regression model, according to which everything was well-considered and predicted. Satisfied, he presented this model to the mayor and other officials. He explained the model and they seemed to understand everything, and everyone was happy. And then one official asked: “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 infuriates analysts a lot.
23. It’s upsetting when you create a CSV file, then open it in Excel, and there is only one column there.
24. When using Excel, you select a column with a name, build a graph on it, and this column’s name becomes the graph heading, the signature, and so on.
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What analysts hate in themselves
25. Analysts hate their own perfectionism. Sometimes an analyst takes a challenging problem, begins to solve it, and then realizes that it is a part of a bigger problem and it would be a good idea to solve it first. They get to work with passion. But the deadline is running out! And the client, having learned about this titanic work, also says that they didn’t want to change anything globally. They needed a solution to that little problem. They don’t need to fix the whole system. All analyst’s hard work was in vain.
If you are a chief or simply a colleague of an analyst, then you can make their life a little easier. You won’t be able to improve Excel of course, but giving information on time, correctly naming tables and giving feedback to reports is entirely within your power.