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Timely Insights

Regardless of its origin, or whether it is a blessing or a curse, Steve Weiss, Content Manager at LinkedIn Learning, appreciates the context of where we find ourselves.

“These are crazy times we live in,” says Steve, “and they require us to understand that we are human beings working in a crazy world and working with other human beings …. Learn to be kind in your interactions and expectations of your teammates, your customers, your clients—everybody. I’ve been amazed at how far that can take you in terms of getting through the next day, the next week, of overcoming potential obstacles in your relationship with somebody you’re working on a project with, a potential customer, or anybody you’re serving.”

What crazy times are we talking about? Is Steve referring to life in a post-pandemic society, and the host of changes that experience has brought us? Is he talking about the division in the country that affects everyone, from the halls of government to the evening dinner table?

The answer is all of the above, but Steve is also talking about something closer to his heart. He’s talking about data.

“How do we survive this tsunami of data,” asks Steve, “and things we can do with it?”

In this current world of technical innovation, data engineers are learning each day of new and powerful tools that are available to them. There is so much more they can realize, but it requires data professionals to build more time into achieving their deliverables.

“One of the mantras of doing data science and analytics is always asking the right questions,” explains Steve, “and never being afraid to stop and reiterate. Look at what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you’re trying to accomplish.”

Steve also points out that these challenging times translate to challenging decisions for leaders, too. Business and technology still comes in cycles of challenges, but these cycles are closer together now, and the highs and lows are more extreme. Leaders must be responsive rather than reactive in their decisions. Those involved in responsive leadership see these cycles through the lens of opportunity. What can be tried? What can be learned? What can be achieved? Each day, data engineers are finding more powerful tools in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“In the next couple of years, especially in the coming year, try to stay focused on what you and your team want to accomplish,” says Steve. “Then ask yourselves, ‘Is this realistic?’ And then be fearless in setting your way forward by using the tools you think are good. Talk to other people and go forward.”

Steve’s final piece of advice, though, brings us back to his original point of how to treat each other during these crazy times.

“Be yourself,” says Steve. “Be your best self.”

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