How to tell a great analyst from a good analyst

Good analyst help businesses to stay in the competition, but great analyst sets the business apart from its competition. Learn more about how to be a great analyst by walking that extra mile.

The following insights are courtesy of Quandl, a company committed to delivering financial and economic data in the format that analysts need. Their collections offering can help data analysts save time and effort. Financial analysts will find that in addition to the following insights, Quandl’s futures collection can be a great resource.

quandl-insights1) A good analyst looks for answers, a great analyst reveals the truth.

A great analyst goes beyond developing reports. She digs deeper — she doesn’t just find out what the number is, she figures out why it is that way. She asks the bigger questions that lead to actionable insights and drive strategy.


2) A good analyst is detail-oriented, a great analyst is a master of nuance.
Good analysts can spot minute details and subtle patterns, but first-rate analysts can also place those nuances within the bigger picture. They immerse themselves in the data, but they don’t get lost in it. Because they’re plugged into the wider strategy, they’re better at knowing what to focus on and what to set aside.


3) A good analyst is analytical, a great analyst is also synthetical.
If analysis is reverse engineering, synthesis is engineering. It’s the ability to build things, to combine data points, patterns, and themes into a coherent story. Good analysts can take a number and deconstruct it into its most minute components. A synthesizer can create a unifying pattern for those data points and patterns.


quandl-tools4) A good analyst is dubious, a great analyst is an outright skeptic.
While decent analysts guard against their own biases, great analysts enjoy questioning their conclusions. They will seek out devil’s advocates, inviting colleagues to scrutinize any beliefs. Because no process is perfect, they don’t try to hide the flaws of their approach. Instead, they try to expose them.


5) A good analyst presents insights, a great analyst tells stories.
Great analysts know how to make their findings digestible to a wide variety of audiences. They can help any part of the organization understand why the data is meaningful. They’re not just number crunchers, they have the ability to make people believe in the results. Insights are only meaningful if they inspire action. Ultimately, great analysts drive strategy.