We live in a world that loves instant gratification, whether it's overnight delivery or on-demand movies. We want what we want and we want it now. But in the data world, speed can sometimes be the enemy of accuracy, especially when collaboration is required. We're going to talk about how to balance speedy answers with right ones and how to best address these issues by re-framing questions and outlining problems. That way your team members and stakeholders understand what answers they can expect when. As data analysts, we need to know the why behind things like a sales slump, a player's batting average, or rainfall totals. It's not just about the figures, it's about the context too and getting to the bottom of these things takes time. So if a stakeholder comes knocking on your door, a lot of times that person may not really know what they need. They just know they want it at light speed. But sometimes the pressure gets to us and even the most experienced data analysts can be tempted to cut corners and provide flawed or unfinished data in the interest of time. When that happens, so much of the story in the data gets lost. That's why communication is one of the most valuable tools for working with teams. It's important to start with structured thinking and a well-planned scope of work, which we talked about earlier. If you start with a clear understanding of your stakeholders' expectations, you can then develop a realistic scope of work that outlines agreed upon expectations, timelines, milestones, and reports. This way, your team always has a road map to guide their actions. If you're pressured for something that's outside of the scope, you can feel confidence setting more realistic expectations. At the end of the day, it's your job to balance fast answers with the right answers. Not to mention figuring out what the person is really asking. Now seems like a good time for an example. Imagine your VP of HR shows up at your desk demanding to see how many new hires are completing a training course they've introduced. She says, "There's no way people are going through each section of the course. The human resources team is getting slammed with questions. We should probably just cancel the program." How would you respond? Well, you could log into the system, crunch some numbers, and hand them to your supervisor. That would take no time at all. But the quick answer might not be the most accurate one. So instead, you could re-frame her question, outline the problem, challenges, potential solutions, and time-frame. You might say, "I can certainly check out the rates of completion, but I sense there may be more to the story here. Could you give me two days to run some reports and learn what's really going on?" With more time, you can gain context. You and the VP of HR decide to expand the project timeline, so you can spend time gathering anonymous survey data from new employees about the training course. Their answers provide data that can help you pinpoint exactly why completion rates are so low. Employees are reporting that the course feels confusing and outdated. Because you were able to take time to address the bigger problem, the VP of HR has a better idea about why new employees aren't completing the course and can make new decisions about how to update it. Now the training course is easy to follow and the HR department isn't getting as many questions. Everybody benefits. Redirecting the conversation will help you find the real problem which leads to more insightful and accurate solutions. But it's important to keep in mind, sometimes you need to be the bearer of bad news and that's okay. Communicating about problems, potential solutions and different expectations can help you move forward on a project instead of getting stuck. When it comes to communicating answers with your teams and stakeholders, the fastest answer and the most accurate answer aren't usually the same answer. But by making sure that you understand their needs and setting expectations clearly, you can balance speed and accuracy. Just make sure to be clear and upfront and you'll find success.