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5 Ways to Communicate Data More Effectively Post-COVID | by William Chon | Aug, 2020

How to be more effective when remote

William Chon

Data science is very collaborative job — you’re constantly interacting with coworkers from a variety of different roles and backgrounds. Within a single day, you can have meetings with engineers, product managers, other data scientists, operations people, designers, etc. With such a diverse cast of teammates, communicating data is a hard thing to do well. And now that collaboration is virtual, communication becomes a little bit harder.

Since most of us are working from home now, we should be taking a few extra steps to communicate data to others. This article goes over some quick and practical tips that should help in all situations, for all teammates and coworkers. Some of these tips may seem obvious, so that is great if you are already doing it — however, there is a good chance that others reading this article may find those tips really helpful.

By implementing these tips in your daily workflow, you’re able to benefit everyone involved in a few key ways:

  • Frees up your time: If you are proactive in investing time to make the data easier to access/understand, you are able to save on future time spent answering ad-hoc questions or writing queries when they eventually arise.
  • Understand what you did 3 months ago: How many times have you had to dig up an analysis that you did a few months ago? I personally find myself doing this multiple times a week. These tips should help in communicating to your future self in the sense that you can easily look up something from the past and understand what you did, what assumptions you made, so that you can do a similar analysis or share out past results with current commentary.
  • Empower your coworkers: This is the most important one because this is why you were hired as the analytics person on the team. By helping your teammates access data in a way that they are comfortable with (SQL code, aggregated/sampled data in Excel, dashboard, etc.), it allows them to be more hands-on with the data which will make them more effective. Internal data is one of the most valuable things that a company will have, and if you are able to help your coworkers use that data effectively, that is a huge win.