With Data Analyst Day less than three weeks away, you're probably already thinking about the gift you are going to get your favorite data analyst. As you already know, Data Analyst Day is the third biggest gift-giving holiday of February, behind only Valentines Day and Presidents Day.
Here is a top-ten list of gift ideas for the Data Analyst in your life.
Number 10 = iPod Classic, at Best Buy. The honest truth is that your data analyst wants to listen to her iPod with earbud headphones, mostly because she doesn't want to be distracted by last-minute requests to create KPIs that summarize Shopping Comparison Site performance. If you are an Executive, pay close attention to your data analyst --- do the earbud headphones go in every time you approach to ask a question?
Number 9 = Notebook Computer with Horsepower, from PC Connection. There is nothing more demeaning to the data analyst than being required to use the same desktop computer purchased during the go-go days of the internet bubble. Granted, the legal folks hate it when data analysts are given laptops with critical company data --- you never know when the laptop will be stolen from your car while enjoying after-work drinks and appies at Red Robin. Nevertheless, a notebook computer with dual processors tells the data analyst that the company cares about her.
Number 8 = Neural Network Software from Advanced Software Applications. Sure, complex analysis can be done in Excel, or in a free tool like Google Analytics. That being said, your data analyst is tired of "setting up goals", or calculating sales tax for orders in Idaho. She wants to do something creative, innovative, something nobody will ever be able to adequately explain to an Executive. Neural network technology is perfect for this!
Number 7 = HP 7250 Wireless Printer from Amazon. Your information technology department doesn't see anything wrong with the 1995 black-and-white, four-page-per-minute laser printer located in your cafeteria --- it still works!! But your data analyst wants to be inspired, and wireless printing is one way to inspire an analyst. A key point, folks ... this printer isn't for everybody. Even though anybody could, in theory, print wirelessly to this unit, your data analyst wants sole use of the wireless printer, and wants the wireless printer in her cube.
Number 6 = Glossy Paper from Office Max. When you're getting ready to print a pie chart, you want the confidence of knowing that "magenta" slice is going to look the way it looks on the screen. This is best accomplished by having an ample supply of glossy paper.
Number 5 = Open Office Software Suite from Sun Microsystems. Your data analyst and your finance department will love you for this gift --- heck, it is FREE! Most important is the fact that the data analyst can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using odd extensions. This helps the data analyst gauge the technological sophistication of the recipient of the document --- to the data analyst, it is big-time fun to be able to say to an Executive "You mean you don't know how to open a .ODS file?"
Number 4 = 32" 1080p Samsung Monitor from Newegg.com. Business leaders frequently overlook the importance of computer monitors. After all, you can still do your job using one of those old CRT monitors from the 1980s, the ones that have green-on-black or orange-on-black screens. The data analyst knows that a 32" 1080p monitor conveys credibility. Nobody wants to learn about the details of the hyperbolic tangent function on a small screen.
Number 3 = Presidential Tufted Executive Leather Office Chair from BizChair.com. A data analyst requires comfort and back support. Both are sorely missing from today's array of standard, $170 office chairs with mesh seats. Why not spend a little more, and provide your data analyst with a chair that adequately conveys your appreciation for the "Top Ten Referring URL's" powerpoint slide she created for you last week?
Number 2 = Vintage Gas Pump Liquor Dispenser. Your data analyst may have grown up watching "Dallas" on Friday evenings. If so, she learned about the importance of alcohol in the workplace. If there was a problem at a refinery, Bobby & JR solved key business issues in JR's office with a glass of hard liquor in hand. Your data analyst probably suffers productivity issues when required to purchase Fanta soft drinks from the vending machine.
Number 1 = T-Bills. Why not give each data analyst at your company a $100,000 security direct from the U.S. Treasury? Your employee will thank you, your government will thank you, and the money you spend will be immediately re-distributed to financial institutions all across America.