David Cherrett

Head of Energy Market Analytics (London)

Team Member

Good analysts are connoisseurs of their data. You can't be a connoisseur without being comfortable with coding principles and truly loving your subject.

How does your work reward you? What aspects of your job do you find inspiring? Wherein lies the meaning/significance?

My answer to this question has not changed in thirty years. We get paid to learn about the world, how wonderful is that? The cost of failing to understand can be so financially material, the necessity to achieve what Richard Feynman termed 'the rich, deep knowledge of our subject', rather than a superficial clickbait understanding, is the bedrock of our work. Above all, as energy analysts, our work focuses us on acquiring a deep knowledge of the global energy system. As diverse thinkers like Vaclav Smil and Joseph Tainter have argued, an efficient energy system is integral to every successful society. To understand and dare I say 'shape' an optimal energy system, is therefore to help create a more productive society. What greater responsibility and privilege can there be.

Are you seeing any exciting new evolutions, technologies or changes in the market currently?

Analytics has been profoundly impacted in recent years by the mushrooming of data and data analysis tools. Increasingly heavy data sets and high frequency indicators have expanded the need to gather, clean, aggregate and analyse. Coding and code languages have become a much greater part of the commodity analysts daily work; new roles such as a data engineer and data scientist are emerging at the core of successful commodity teams. It's an exciting time. 

The cost of failure to understand can be so financially material in our business that it necessitates what Richard Feynman referenced as the rich, deep knowledge of the subject rather than a superficial, clickbait understanding. That is the bedrock on which our work is built.

What makes a good analyst? What qualities do you look for in your team?

The need for specialisation in commodity analysis makes generalisations harder but a passion for the subject and a quantitative mindset are essential. Good analysts are connoisseurs of their data. You can't be a connoisseur without being comfortable with coding principles and truly loving your subject. However, the most important quality for any analytical team remains the ability to combine quantitative analytical prowess with communication skill, which allows for a collaborative teamwork (essential if we are to be more than the sum of our parts). Given the extremely high level of specialisation present in our team, the ability to collaborate and create a shared centre of excellence is vital. Ultimately, we are a customer-centric activity (our customer being the trader) so although an analyst's work is 60% analytics, it is also 40% communication.