Many people make it through statistics class without a clear understanding of the common process used for all statistical hypothesis tests. In fact, it's not unusual to complete the class without realizing there is a common process. That's not the students' fault -- most professors don't emphasize it.
Executives need accurate, relevant information that is presented simply, quickly and clearly. They need answers to their questions, and they need to have confidence, not just in the data's message, but also in the messenger.
What happens to analysts who don't know the process and don't use it to clarify their thinking? Most often, executives just don't find those analysts persuasive. Their presentations sound too esoteric, and their answers to questions do not satisfy.
Here's a confession: I love data analysts who are full of hot air. It is so easy to disarm these windbags. All I have to do is smile sweetly, look them straight in the eye, and ask a little question -- What were your assumptions here? -- or make a simple point -- The method you've used was designed for ratio measures, but this metric is ordinal -- and it's all over. Everybody in the room understands. Don't let that happen to you. The five-step process common to every statistical hypothesis test will make your work bulletproof.