Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Always on Offense

I know you're all dying to know how I'm doing in my work travels across the border. While I haven't seen much of the city and can't tell you much about what there is to do around here, I'd like to give you some insight into my work-life and all the crazy things that seem like a pain for anyone but can be a thrill to me.

My official job code is a 'business analyst', but it's so much more than that. Analyst and number cruncher one moment, charismatic and confident speaker the next. I go from cross eyed over spreadsheets to storytelling and influencing at a moment's notice.

As an analyst, a big part of my job is running reports and presenting information on a daily and consistent schedule, one that demands quick action and often needed before anyone else can begin their day's work. The other side of the reports that I run are fly-by or special requests from people much higher than me in pay grade and status. For them I'm expected to drop everything and dish the numbers on a beautiful garnished platter, along with the story behind all of the details that I'm summarizing at the highest level.

Does that sound terrifying or stressful to you?


Something that makes me successful in my job and has ultimately saved me time and time again is preparing myself for the follow up questions that I know I'll get. Rather than doing the minimum to satisfy the request, I do my best to look at it the same way my audience will and begin to think of other avenues I can explore before preparing a story behind the numbers.

While having the great power and responsibility to pull the information, I can't drag these higher up's down into the swampy data weeds with me. I have to give them a clear breakdown at a very high level, calling out exceptions, making it visually pleasing and of course presenting it in a way that they can either print and bring into a meeting or that they can click the 'forward' button and begin to delegate action.

In addition, thanks to the digital age where iPhones and iPads are regulars at meetings, I also have be sensitive to the time and the possible location of the report's audience. Essentially this means that anything I send must be iPhone ready for people to review with their idle hands when they're trying to look busy in a meeting or are no longer interested in the topic. I can't even tell you how many times making something iPhone ready has saved me from re-explaining something to people.

Thinking one step ahead of the game, being prepared and doing my homework aren't foreign to me and my extensive time playing sports growing up is a key reason I possess these critical skills.

Today's Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a young woman who always read the game one pitch ahead and always will.

heart JE


Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon said...

I love hearing more about your job- it sounds high stress but you are doing a great job managing it!

brooke lyn said...

you almost make me want to put more effort into my job...almost.

Jenn said...

I feel ya on delivering information that is easily consumed. I am an HR professional and it's all bout how much do they need to know to make a decision! great TBT pic!

Rachel Sedaker said...

I admire how you know your strengths and are able to articulate them and package them. I'm learning a lot from you!

carrotbowl said...

I love your thoroughness! Seriously.