The Sashies? The Analysies?
The Counties? The Corallaries? We already have a Goddess,
why not an annual Rock Star of Regressions?
It is clear that all of us data and research geeks are finally coming into our own. With entire conferences like OMMA, WAA, eMetrics and IPRRC devoted to data analysis and metrics, you’d think we’d have our own awards ceremony by now. Sure, there’s the “Jack Felton Golden Ruler of Measurement” Award, but that’s limited to PR measurement, and with only one winner and a handful of entries, it’s hardly representative of the broad and growing spectrum of people who are coming out of the woodwork these days to “Make Data Their Bitch.” I’m talking about the few, the proud, the data junkies and research geeks who just love digging into data and finding those nuggets that explain why that bar chart goes up or down. Or what caused that anaomaly in March. You can tell them by the way they talk. Take this dialog from yesterday. I was reviewing a report with Erica, the KDPaine & Partners Director of Research, (otherwise known as one of the “Paniacs”) and when I essentially told her she needed to regenerate about 20 charts and come up with about 10 new ways of looking at the data, she said “cool, this is the fun stuff.” That’s how data geeks talk.
So I think its time to start nominating these pioneers of performance indicators for an annual award. I haven’t figure out what to give them as a prize. Probably a new HP calculator – or better yet, get SAS or SPSS to sponsor us and donate their latest software. My first inclination was to nominate my clients, who tend to be on the geeky side of the communications spectrum. But frankly, I think we need more visible heroes.
So here are my first nominees.
@maddow is a self-proclaimed geek, who encourages her millions of viewers to "give in to your inner geek" This is what she said last night: “So this is the only tv show in America where I am quite confident that you, the audience, will share my excitement when I tell you that coming up in our next segment, we have the best graph ever. Best graph ever. Best graph we've ever had. Admit it! You are excited for that and you would never hear a tease like that on any other show ever .It's okay.Just give in to your inner geek." What other television personality has ever, or would ever say such words! What she showed was a bar graph that showed the impact on the budget of various bills passed under reconciliation. It was a very simple explanation of a very complicated subject. She is the quintessitial data wonk.
Another one that gets my vote is Abbie from NCIS.
Imagine a data geek being the hero of a TV crime series! Abbie’s love of data and use of analysis to solve impossible conundrums makes her a perfect candidate for Data Geek of the year.
My third set of nominees are the guys from the NPR’s
Planet Money team, Adam Davidson Chana
Alex Blumberg David Kestenbaum Caitlin Kenney and Jacob Goldstein . These guys have taken enormous amounts of data, digested endless debates, and followed convoluted serpentine money trails to produce their riveting broadcasts. Whether its healthcare, the great mortgage meltdown, or the banking collapse, leave it to these guys to crunch the data into a comphrensible story.
So this is just a start, send me your nominees and I’ll start working on the prize!