Years ago, I read all the Arthur Conan Doyle stories and a bunch of Agatha Christie’s too. While I didn’t grow up to be an amazing sleuth who could determine that the butler did it after seeing a toothpick tucked behind the toilet, I did become a different sort of sleuth. I can’t say those books are what drew me to MR, but here are a bunch of things that keep me there.
1) Charts – oh how I like charts. Box plots, brand maps, scatter plots, radar charts. These charts allow you to instantly visualize tons of data that would otherwise make your eyes ache reading tables. (If charts are your thing, check out http://www.flowingdata.com )
2) Finding the oddity – Data can be pretty boring. You know what it is and what you’ll find. But, on that rare occasion, you’ll find the strangest little tidbit that resonates with you completely. And you wonder why it never occurred to you before.
3) Creating reports – It’s a bit of artistic creativity in an otherwise scientific day. Choosing colors that match the clients brand without clashing or looking obvious. Making sure the layout is clean and tidy so clients can focus on the results not on the jarring font size changes.
4) New topics every day – Tired of soup? How about shoes or banking or guitars or phone services. You learn something every day about things you never realized you cared about.
5) Solving mysteries – You are the Sherlock Holmes of consumer product mysteries. People will be astounded with your deductive reasoning skills and you will astound yourself too.
And now, with my trusty confidence interval calculator at my side, I shall go solve another mystery.