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3 Key Steps to Business Success Amanda Cullen Business Made Simpler

Do you run a small business? If so, does this sound familiar? Do emails Deal with invoices Do emails Make phone call Do emails Go on social media Do emails Go networking Do emails See a client or customer Do emails Many small business owners try to do too much. We spend too much time juggling activities and doing ‘stuff’ in our business, without standing back and assessing what we need to focus on to make our business successful. To be successful, you need 3 things: 1. A vision that says what you want to achieve, and by when 2. A strategy that says how you’re going to do it 3. A plan that sets out the actions you will take, and when you’ll take them I had a long and successful career as a partner in a global consultancy firm. 4 years ago I retrained as a coach, and left corporate life to set up my coaching business. I’ve coached lots of people on a wide range of issues and topics, but now I focus exclusively on helping small business owners. I understand how business works My clients appreciate that I know what it takes to be successful. Not only do I have my corporate experience, but I’ve been involved in running several small businesses. I use tools and techniques derived from the corporate world, but adapted for small businesses and with absolutely NO JARGON! Contact details: amanda@businessmadesimpler.co.uk www.businessmadesimpler.co.uk 07557 416714 Kingston-based, but I coach UK-wide


Data Skills: What are they and why should you learn them? At the end of last year, LinkedIn reported that some of the fastestgrowing jobs involve using data. Data is valuable across a breadth of industries – they give retailers the power to predict what consumers want before they know it themselves, they ensure entertainment groups can identify the kind of TV shows that will be successful, and they help healthcare providers improve their methods of diagnosis by comparing similar conditions across humongous datasets.

on the ability to ask the right questions. When companies have millions of items of data in their archives, we can’t go in empty-handed – we need to first lay the groundwork so that we can know where to look. This means someone who can understand the cultural and economic contexts surrounding the data will be hugely beneficial to a company looking to start.

Consider data, then, as units of currency that institutions acquire to identify consumer expectations, operational problems, and future successes. Therefore, an understanding of how to manipulate data isn’t just critical across industries, but across departments, from marketers gaining insights into customer motivations to administrators identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Attention to detail makes a frequent appearance in many job specs and it’s crucial when working with data: you will need patience to work through fields of information in datasets that have been previously updated by various staff members, checking for consistency and accuracy through it all. Consider that this initial preparation takes up about 70% of the project, and you’ll understand just how precious this skill is.

These are clear signals that data skills are crucial for the 21st century workplace, meaning that many companies are willing to pay six-figure salaries for these professionals. Yet the supply of personnel who are data literate isn’t meeting demand. Part of the issue is the prevalent cluelessness about what data skills are, as fears that they require mathematical prowess or computer expertise are simply inaccurate. While a knowledge of analysis is desirable, acquiring it is most often a case of playing around with data analytics software. Do you know how to use Excel? PowerPoint? Many of the relevant programmes require a basic knowledge of computing as that. The key to succeeding with data actually requires the soft skills frequently asked of sales and management positions. Take, for example, research and interpersonal skills. As entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss says, “life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask”, and a data project’s success impinges

But the holy grail of data skills is knowing how to present your information. This means both creating compelling visuals of your results and communicating them clearly. After all, results are of no use if no one can understand them. In my experience, those with sharp presentation skills often fare much better for information management jobs than even those who have a degree in the field. Companies are presently looking for interpersonal capabilities and evidence of enterprise from their data job candidates, rather than of deep technical Know-How. Even if you have the skills highlighted above, still consider attending a short course, or learning one of the simple data programmes, to increase your foundational knowledge – the odds are in your favour that you’ll be invited for interview.

Kirill Eremenko is a data science expert and the author of new book Confident Data Skills, published by Kogan Page. The book will help you master the fundamentals of working with data and supercharge your career. It is priced at £14.99 and is available on Amazon.

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Borough Business April 2018  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

Borough Business April 2018  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

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