Senior Technical Writer Lee Kessler survived ordeals of statistical analysis and tactical story-telling.
As a writer, I had always believed that people in my line of business ought to be discouraged from playing with numbers in the same the way children are discouraged from playing with matches. But my independence from mathematics came to an abrupt impasse when I joined Analytic Partners (AP).
I was determined to understand the math and science behind our analytic solutions and how they enable marketing data modeling. That was my first quest and reason I took part in Analytic Partners’ NorthStar Academy Bootcamp as the cohort’s lone writer.
At Analytic Partners, the analysts who do the actual modeling also present results directly to the client. This is an important distinction that carries uncommonly high demands. AP analysts need to understand:
- the client’s industry and business needs, on both macro and micro levels
- the granular data, its sources, how it is best formatted, and how to ensure data quality
- advanced marketing analytics, the methodologies and benchmarks appropriate to each model, across channels
- how to clarify the marketing narrative supported by the analytics, and how to best convey it to the client audience
But where do we find such people? There is no multi-disciplinary degree program that produces perfect AP Analysts. There’s no natural pipeline we can tap.
So, we don’t find such people: we develop them. Or rather, AP helps people develop themselves, incrementally, along a journey with dedicated resources for continued learning. And the first such resource is the NorthStar Academy Bootcamp.
What is AP Bootcamp
Developed internally and taught by senior AP analysts, the two-week new hire Bootcamp program includes a rigorous curriculum presented through the whole spectrum of techniques in contemporary technical education: classroom work, self-paced modules, hands-on exercises, and games -- performed both singly and in teams.
Based in our midtown Manhattan headquarters, in addition to intense education, Bootcamp also included team-building opportunities such as lunches and dinners, a happy hour or two, bowling, and a community service project. Our group worked together in a volunteer project to paint classrooms for a primary school uptown, in association with the Citizen's Committee for NYC.
Sir Francis, a Blimp and Results
Back in the classroom, we learned about Sir Francis Galton, the creator of regression toward the mean – a core concept in analysis. Sir Francis was also a half-cousin of Charles Darwin, whose principle of survival of the fittest drives all advertising campaigns to this day as our analysis helps determine which marketing efforts are, in fact, the fittest.
We also learned how to calculate audience reach for a blimp and other real-life examples that make mathematics seem more like magic.
The closing exercise was the case study competition where teams analysed data, wove a marketing narrative based on their results, and made a presentation to a panel of senior staffers. The presentations were flat-out impressive.
It’s clear that these people are far more than number crunchers; they are ninja SWAT-team, tactical storytellers. I’m happy to report that we learned a lot – even this formerly math-phobic writer.
Learn more about…
- NorthStar Academy Bootcamp from Analytic Partners
- Citizen's Committee for NYC which is one way we at AP try to be good neighbors
- Sir Francis Galton for a compendium of his astoundingly prodigious accomplishments across ridiculously numerous realms of human endeavor which has, truth be told, the potential to make you feel somewhat less pleased with yourself than you were before you clicked this link
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