Five Question Blitz: Context and Perspective

February 18, 2021

In this weeks Five Question Blitz we focus on Context and Perspective. Data & Analytics in its purest form is scientific research involving data. In order to properly organize and measure data a framework for assessing and understanding must be established.

The Five Question Blitz was created to answer five questions relevant to Data & Analytics. Topics will be broad and answers will be simplified. Our goal is to promote common definitions and increase the general knowledge of individuals with interest in Data & Analytics.

What is context?

Formal definition from LEXICO, powered by Oxford:

- The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

Said another way: Context involves acquiring knowledge that allows for the accurate and precise understanding of a topic.

What is perspective?

Formal definition from LEXICO, powered by Oxford:

- A particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.

- True understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion.

Said another way: Perspective is the alignment of values and disciplines to ensure members of an organization maintain a consistent approach when assessing processes, information, and decision points.

Why is context and perspective important to analytics?

Context and perspective serve as the knowledge foundation for all analysis. Analysts must understand how the business functions, which includes the business processes, customer models, product models, service models, operations models, and the P&L model.

With this level of insight paired with consistent methods of assessing information, projects can be fully understood and assessed. This in turn lays the framework for an effective analysis.

What type of questions assist in learning context and perspective?

All questions are effective in gathering more information; however, ‘how’ questions are useful for understanding process. A well thought-out 'how' question targeted at the appropriate colleague or subject matter expert will provide insight into processes relevant to the question or problem at hand. This process information provides additional context to help in framing out an effective analysis.

When are context and perspective relevant?

Context and perspective are relevant in all aspects of a job. No detail is too minor nor any project too massive for the benefits of accuracy and precision. However, we must be realistic and accept that very few people have the time and abilities to understand all aspects of a business down to the most minute of details.

There is an ideal balance to continuously work towards. This emphasizes the need to always ask questions of members across your organization and push back against the tendency of siloed habits.

For more information on how context and perspective support Data & Analytics check out this article from my partner George Earl.

Click here to read last weeks article, Five Question Blitz: Data Literacy.

About the Author: My name is Ion King and I am the Chief Executive Officer at SimDnA. My focus is on helping others passionate about growing careers in Data Science & Analytics achieve their goals. Connect with me on LinkedIn or find more of my articles on medium.

Header image by Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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