To Whom It May Concern,
What’s up Party People?
Read through the above ‘greetings’. They all essentially say the same thing and are all viable as an email greeting, but each one has a different tone that’s interpreted by the reader/recipient, depending on who they are and your relationship with them. Depending on the audience, your message, no matter how well-intended could be different. Consider each greeting and how you interpreted it and then re-read them to consider how your client, stakeholder, friend or family may react. Ask yourself, is it different than how you interpreted it? Why?
To put it simply: Words Matter.
As analysts, we should always measure the impact that our words could have on the reader/listener, no matter how minor. There is a craft and an art to taking numbers and turning them into compelling stories and insights. The goal of analysis is to take a pile of numbers and translate them into insights that are easily and accurately interpreted by the audience. Each word used should be meaningful, necessary, and impactful.
Here are some common trigger words and phrases that could incite panic or falsely inflate enthusiasm:
- Spike – Denotes that the increase was huuuuge and likely caused by something controlled like a media push. If this isn’t the case, find another word.
- Fell – Falling is scary and often uncontrolled. People don’t like to feel out of control. If the numbers are in ‘decline’, find out why and include the reason.
- Dropped off – This can indicate that things went from 100 to zero. Maybe the numbers have ‘tapered off’ or possibly ‘showing downward trends’ or ‘have normalized back to previous benchmarked thresholds’. Do a 360-degree analysis to uncover and illustrate the truth.
- There’s a tagging issue – In analytics, this phrase is the equivalent of pulling a fire alarm. Only to be used if there’s 1000% an ‘issue’. Even then, it may be couched with some other truths, such as, “The data is sound but we’ve identified a tagging discrepancy and have a fix in place now.”
Real-life reactions to hearing ‘Tagging issues’:
- “Whose fault is this?”
- “How are we doing to fix this?”
- “Great, now I have bad data. How long has this been going on for? Have I been reporting bad data?”
- “How can I trust my data if there are issues?”
You get the point.
If you feel like you’re at a loss for better synonyms:
- Use the internet to find a substitute
- Ask your account lead/teammate to help if you get stuck
In the beginning, it might feel tedious to put this much thought into which words or phrases to use. And that’s the point. Approach your communications with team members and stakeholders with thoughtfulness about how it will be received.
Thanks in Advance,
You’re the Best,