QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

Never judge a book by its cover…boy was that true with this book!

I read this one expecting a review of how to better understand the root question people ask, rather than a superficial answer. We see it all the time in the data community:

Client: “I need some data around XYZ.”

Analyst: “Ok, what are you trying to do with this data?”

Client: “I’m not sure yet, but I’ll know it when I see it.”

In my experience, the client generally does know what they want the data to them (i.e. “profit is up YoY” or “attrition is down X%”), so then what is the point of having talented data analysts on your team if you don’t leverage them to…analyze data.

I digress, because QBQ! The Question Behind the Question is not about that at all. Rather, it’s a series of anecdotes regarding personal responsibility and how every answer is contained in the question, provided you take a proactive and reflective point-of-view. For example, instead of asking “Why are we behind on this project?” you change the question around to “How can I help get us back on track?” Despite having very different expectations, I found it to be an interesting read and enjoyed the new perspective.

Favorite Part: It’s a pretty quick read, so generally I just enjoyed the positivity and the approach that you cannot control the actions of others, but you can always control your response and your proactive approach in the future.

Favorite Quote: “It’s better to be one who is told to wait than one who waits to be told.”

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Greg Shick
Analytics / Data Science / Statistics