data-driven steering your talent

Revving Up a Data-Driven Team

Part 3: Steering Your Talent

The most important investment for a data-driven team isn’t the technology – it’s the people. So in this part of our series, we’ll focus on improving your team’s skills. (If you haven’t already, check out our previous ideas for fueling your culture and shifting your organizational structure.)

Building Your Team

  • Update responsibilities. The whole point of having a data-driven team is that everybody is accountable for analytics within their specialty area. The regional sales team studies their own metrics, the digital marketer analyzes their online ad spend, and so on. That may be self-evident to you, but make sure those responsibilities are clearly spelled out for each member of your team.
  • Determine your headcount. You may decide you need more people. Or that your existing resources can handle this incremental work. However many boxes you put on your org chart, avoid hiring somebody whose only job is analysis. That’s getting away from the spirit of a data-driven team.

  • Look for key characteristics. All of your team members should share some common qualities:
    • Curious
    • Loves learning
    • Business savvy
    • Persistent
    • Good communicator
    • Logical
    • Open minded

    Notice that an advanced degree in analytics is not listed. A data-driven team member only needs to be comfortable learning and using an analytics tool.

  • Set expectations. Make sure team members come to discussions well versed in their data. If a question pops up, they should be able to quickly retrieve the answer themselves. Also, you don’t want team members whose work ends with producing pretty charts. Those visualizations should lead to actions your team member is taking to increase revenue, retain customers, or reduce costs.

Educating Your Team

  • Enable training. As part of this transformation, your team will likely adopt a new self-service analytics tool. (We’ll cover this in more depth in our next post.) Make sure your team has time to learn their new tool. Your vendor should help by offering customer demonstrations, online tutorials, and help resources. (Of course, a really user-friendly tool shouldn’t require a great deal of training.)

    Don’t overlook the power of peer training within your organization. This could take the form of a lunch-and-learn session or an impromptu one-on-one about a specific question. Make sure your employees feel comfortable getting the help they need.

  • Expand the learning options. Getting educated on your analytics tool is only the start. Try to schedule half-day or full-day sessions around related skills, such as “storytelling with your data” or “metrics that matter.”

    Ideally, get your team members together and out of their daily routines for this training. This shows you value their continued growth and builds team camaraderie. During this time, your team members may bring up situations they’re facing today. You’ll find that their peers will jump in with ideas, and they’ll end up learning as much from each other as the class facilitator.

  • Attend conferences. MarTech is the largest annual conference for marketing technologists, but dozens of others are held throughout the year. Similar conferences for different lines of business exist. You could also look into meetups in your area. The vendor of your analytics tool may also hold a user conference for learning about new features and collaborating with your peers.

  • Make learning a daily habit. Stay on top of trends with industry newsletters. Follow influencers and thought leaders on social media. Try to block out 30 minutes on your calendar daily to keep current.

You are almost there in your journey to creating your data-driven team! In our next installment, we’ll share how to accelerate with technology.

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