Analytics & Marketing Metrics

Confronting Your Ignorance of Analytics

When you are not watching a show that seemingly everyone else is watching—like Game of Thrones—you might start to get annoyed at just the mention of the show. Unfortunately, some businesses that have undeveloped data analytics can develop a similar attitude toward analytics. But it is important to “embrace the unknown” and push past the resentment over being out of the loop. In an article for CIO magazine, John Edwards discusses how to demystify the “dark science” of analytics.

Embrace Analytics

Firstly, it may be useful and even necessary to think of data analytics as a business function unto itself. Otherwise, other departments may start to feud over who should own it, and even if one department eventually “wins,” it will likely be at a great cost. It is best to share the power of analytics across departments. In any case though, IT leaders will play a critical role in the development of analytics. And IT teams will need to be trained in several new skills to make proper use of analytics. In the beginning at least, it may be worthwhile to establish a central analytics team to build the initial analytics function. Once that has been accomplished, the central team can move on to addressing specialized cases where that degree of expertise will be put to its fullest use.

Who actually leads an analytics project will depend on the nature of the business. Sometimes it should be a senior marketing of marketing; sometimes it should be an IT leader. In either case, representatives from various business units should provide their input into what metrics will be appropriate for an analytics project.

As for where exactly you should find the talent for an analytics team, Edwards offer this:

Competition for analytics talent is intense. “Most companies have sensibly given up on the idea of hiring the hot-shot data scientist with three PhDs to perform magic and instead have built teams of more junior but competent people,” [David Johnston, lead data scientist for ThoughtWorks,] says. He believes that such a strategy that can succeed almost anywhere if certain principles are followed. “You must empower them to succeed,” Johnston says. “Give them data, cloud computing and whatever tools they require.”

For a longer discussion of these concepts, you can view the original article here:

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