Analytical Detectives - Finding Clues That Can Generate New Insights

Do you require solid evidence before making business decisions? Do you like to carry a magnifying glass wherever you go? Maybe you’re an analytical detective.

In my previous post, I explained that the research group Aberdeen had surveyed 650 business intelligence (BI) users as part of its Analytical Mind Map project. By assessing emotional traits and analytical tendencies, Aberdeen identified three distinct analytical personas: the gunslinger, the detective and the evangelist. In this post I’ll cover analytical detectives, data-driven decision makers who are experts at uncovering information, examining evidence and using analytical tools to create new insights.

Are you a detective? Examine the clues...


Analytical detectives follow evidence. Detectives survey all possible sources and uncover useful data wherever it might reside. Of course, the evidence might lead them across multiple lines of business. Because detectives want the ability to analyze all that data, they support the implementation of analytics solutions across the enterprise. And they want to be the ones conducting the inquiries.

They understand the power of the right tools. Detectives know that analytics and BI tools play a big role in helping them find answers. In particular, detectives rely on discovery tools to home in on relevant information. According to the Aberdeen report, more than half of the detectives have query and discovery tools.

Just as Sherlock Holmes had his magnifying glass, many detectives use data visualization tools so they can easily recognize solutions to business problems and spot new opportunities. A slightly fewer number use predictive analytics solutions, but they still tend to rely on these capabilities more thanother types of BI users do.


They are continuously engaged with data. There’s no doubt that analytical detectives understand the value of analytics in addressing business problems and achieving goals. Fortunately, many have the right tools at their disposal. In fact, 60 percent of detectives are satisfied with the relevance of analytical tools to their jobs, according to the Aberdeen report. They know how to use those tools and typically find them easier to use than many of their colleagues do.


What have you deduced?

Are you an analytical detective? If so, you know which questions to ask and you know how to get the answers. Given the right data and the right tools, you can contribute astute, data-driven insights.

Even if you’re not one of the detectives in your organization, you can still help detectives make the most of their skills by enabling them to search across the enterprise for new clues. Give them the tools they need for discovering data and generating insights that can benefit the whole organization. 

To learn more, read the Aberdeen report, “Analytical Detectives: Solving Data Mysteries.” And watch for my next post in this series on analytical gunslingers.