Meet the Gartner Analyst: Doug Laney

Doug Laney headshot 2011-04 3It was my pleasure to recently sit down with Doug Laney, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Data and Analytics Strategy, CDO Research, and speak with him about his experiences at Gartner. When I asked Doug to describe exactly what his job was, he said “I help clients develop their strategies for how to get more out of their data by measuring, managing, and monetizing it like an actual asset.”

Doug has been with Gartner for almost 5 years now. I asked Doug how he originally started working for Gartner and here is what he said “A former EVP at META Group (now part of Gartner) saw me present at a conference while I was with a software company. He asked me if I created the slides myself. I replied “yes” and he said, “You’re hired.” Or something like that.” Doug proceeded to tell me that Gartner was the perfect fit for him by saying “I have always enjoyed writing, and used to do stand-up comedy so I enjoy presenting. And after working as a Big-8 consultant for years, I realized that the analyst gig was the perfect job for a consultant with no attention span.”

As our conversation continued Doug let me in on some of the secrets of being a Gartner Analyst. When asked what his favorite part of working at Gartner was he said “That’s easy. Working with and being surrounded by such astonishingly brilliant, interesting and capable people in the industry is so uplifting and rewarding. And the ability to learn new things and develop new ideas (while sometimes not getting dressed till 2 PM) — don’t tell anyone but it’s hard to believe I get paid for this.” Doug also had some advice for prospective Gartner candidates. “For analysts, and probably most other roles around here, it can be a three ring circus. Actually more like five rings. There are so many ways you can and are expected to contribute. Be prepared to have difficulty balancing them all, and be sure to lean on your manager to help find that proper balance. But know that they are all rewarding.”

Doug’s proudest moment so far in his 5 years at Gartner was when “I got selected to author Gartner’s next book. (#BeCarefulWhatYouAskFor) It is on “Infonomics” – the new economics of information. It will be a guide for business and IT executives, especially the chief data officer on how to leverage their organization’s most critical asset.”

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