2010 was an "interesting" year. I write down the lessons that I learned and felt the most.
1. "Be confident and assertive."
Fine, call yourself "data analyst", "data scientist" or even "data ninja". Whatever you call yourself really does not matter. It matters that as a professional personnel, you work in an environment that requires you (and hopefully you would like also) to share your findings and convince others to see the potential value of your analysis the way you see them. At the end of the day, you are a consultant. And as a consultant, being confident and assertive about your expertise and findings help "tons" in the process.
2.Ask a lot of questions. Especially ask the "dumb" ones at the beginning. Getting clear on concepts and terms as early as possible helps reducing confusion and shortens project development time.
3.Follow up. Sometime people forget what they said or asked for a few days ago. Reasonably constant and consistent contact is the key to keep projects running and in track! Plus, it makes your clients feel needed, which theoretically is a good feeling. :P