Scenes from an Analytics Journey
By Gary Angel|
April 29, 2019
This past week or so I posted a long series of tweets based on my upcoming presentation at the Marketing Analytics Summit in Las Vegas. #MAS19 bit.ly/MAS19LV
The presentation is structured as an analytics journey – from building reports to democratize data, tackling real analysis and struggling with data quality, and even finding that for all your good work you don’t have a seat at the table. Along the way, it highlights the things I’ve learned about how to move forward and do better over a couple decades of tackling these problems and living this particular journey.
But absorbing it piecemeal on Twitter is a bit of work. So I’ve collected them all here in one nice simple (slightly expanded – bugger Twitter’s character limits) flow:
Entrance: You start by trying to deliver data to your users. Reporting looks like such a big, easy win.
Exit: You realize reporting is mostly a waste of time. Most reports are never viewed. Most reports that are viewed are misunderstood. And most reports that are viewed and understood don’t make any difference…
Entrance: So you focus on doing real analysis to answer key business questions. And, of course, the first thing you discover when you start doing analytics?
Exit: Is that your data sucks.
Entrance: After a grueling parallel effort of analytics and data governance, your data is finally in shape and you start delivering real analysis.
Exit: When you’ll realize the hard part of analytics isn’t crunching numbers.
Entrance: Because organizational culture inevitably slows or stops analytics-driven change.
Exit: Building culture is insanely hard. But one of the really clever ways to do it? Learning that seeding questions is better than giving answers.
Entrance: But no matter how much success you’ve had, blind-spots remain in the enterprise.
Exit: Forecasting is probably one of them. It shouldn’t be. Forecasting is one of the most analytic things the enterprise does. Treat it with the respect it deserves.
Entrance: The biggest complaint from mature, successful analtyics practices? We do good analytics but we’re not in the room where it happens.
Exit: This is a you problem. You’re analytics is all tactical not strategic. VoC is critical to making analytics more strategic.
Entrance: So you focus on VoC to be more strategic.
Exit: And you realize your existing VoC is boring, too long and ill-focused. Current enterprise VoC efforts just suck.
Entrance: Focusing VoC away from scoreboard metrics (looking at you NPS) and toward customer drivers of decision will inevitably create loads of behavioral questions for which you lack data.
Exit: Which should drive a broader focus on experimentation.
Entrance: Aggressive efforts to build out a testing program often exposes deep flaws in the customer journey model – because you don’t know what to test or why it’s important.
Exit: Time to re-think how you build and maintain journey maps. This should NOT be a one-off exercise.
Entrance: Success in analytics brings its own challenges – which is why real journeys never have an endpoint.
Exit: Growth and success create silos. Silos limit opportunity and build organizational friction. Removing growth-based silos is a never-ending battle in the enterprise.
The road goes ever on an on. But every presentation has a time-limit. So I’ve ended this particular analytics journey here. I hope you’ll join me in Las Vegas at the Summit to hear the real thing! bit.ly/MAS19LV