Finish this sentence: I’ve always wanted to…

By: Nat Coutts, analytics consultant

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do? For me, one of those things is drawing. I’m instinctively drawn to (pardon the pun) sketches, cartoons, paintings, anything visual. But I always told myself “What for?” “What are you going to do when you know how to draw?” And the big one: “You might FAIL…” Which, by the way, stands for First Attempt In Learning, folks. Luckily, I’ve been following Seth Godin and this quote pushes me onward (see his whole article here).

“This might not work” is at the heart of all important projects, of everything new and worth doing – Seth Godin

So last year I followed my instinct and went to a workshop on Sketchnoting by the wonderful, talented Justin Cheong as a first step. The room was packed! Clearly, I’m not the only one who wants to learn how to draw. Which makes sense given 65% of all people are visual learners. Justin was great, encouraging us to persevere and incorporate sketchnoting in simple, yet practical ways.

There’s a reason social media uses images.

As it turns out, drawing DOES help me in my work. As an analytics consultant, my first priority is to determine what my client needs. The quickest way to do this is with a simple pen and paper drawing of what the output should look like and what steps we need to take to get there. Being able to sketch out this process is invaluable! It succinctly helps consultant and client check they have the same mental image of what the end result should look like and the steps required to get there. It also helps highlight to the client the level of complexity involved, highlighting the value the consultant is therefore adding.

So there you have it. I’m an analytics professional, rooted in data and logic and yet following my instinct and (in this case) learning to draw benefits my work and my leisure time. Hence the hand-drawn cogs (by yours truly) at the top of the article: change in one area of life impacts other areas as well. I keep finding that where logic and instinct meet, is where the rubber hits the road.

Over to you. Finish this sentence: I’ve always wanted to…