Just a cute pic of me
by Mike McKee
Problem Solving

My Mission To Improve My Critical Thinking Skills

Here's how recent events from work have inspired me to do this...

Now that I’m 3+ months into my data analyst job, my boss is giving me A LOT more responsibility.

I’m working on bigger, cooler projects.

And it’s awesome.

Over the last week, I’ve been learning how to build a Data Mart. I’m creating dim tables, creating stored procedures, and experiencing an SQL-only ETL process. It’s cool “back-end” stuff that most data analysts don’t do.

But there’s a downside to it…

More Responsibility + New Skills = Many More Problems

That’s a given.

I’m working with SQL techniques (like the MERGE statement and dimensional modeling) that I’ve never used before. It feels as if I’m at the beginning of my data journey again.

Even though I’d love to be a “know-it-all” who doesn’t need help from anyone, that’s not realistic.

Every day there’s something I don’t know, and I have to ask my boss/coworker for help.

And THIS is why I’m sharing this story with you…

Running into complex, technical problems makes me realize they aren’t easy to explain. The ideas seem clear in my head, but when I try explaining the problem to my data team, my words are messy. Dare I say chaotic?

My message doesn’t feel communicated effectively.

So, I have a goal for the next few weeks. I plan on improving my critical thinking skills so that I can become a better communicator and outline my thoughts in a more understandable manner.

That will give my team an easier time understanding how to solve the problems I face.

If I’m already asking them for help, the last thing I want to do is make them have to think unnecessarily hard to understand what I’m trying to say.

Anyway, here's the question I'll leave you with to ponder on for the rest of the day…

Do you ever find yourself struggling to explain the data problems you encounter?