The Data Analyst as a promoter of a data-driven organisation
Because data analysis does not always lead to data-driven decisions
- Data Analytics
Data analysis leads to clear, action-oriented insights that ensure the right decisions are made. At least, that's how it should go. To the frustration of many Data Analysts, they view carefully presented insights but little reflected in concrete actions.
Making data-driven decisions is an important piece of digital transformation. Do you want to work data-driven? Then you need a carefully chosen combination of systems, processes and people. Goals must be clear and measurable on the basis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This allows you to see which data is required to achieve those goals. A Data Analyst translates the data into actionable insights and recommendations. It is up to the Management team and the Marketing team to get started with these insights and use them to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, this last step often goes wrong.
I also experienced this problem myself, in the role of Data Analyst, but also as the person responsible for a team of Data Analysts and Implementation Specialists. The conversion of insights into well-founded decisions is a stumbling block on the way to a data-driven organisation. I've been looking for a solution to this problem and will give you three practical tips.
Three tips to make your Data Analyst more effective
1. Involve your Data Analyst more in the organisation
The situation: The position of your Data Analyst in the organisation is an influential factor. As part of a central team, far away from the Managers and Marketers who make decisions, it is difficult for a Data Analyst to arrive at the right KPIs, make good analyses and make targeted recommendations.
The solution: Your Data Analyst must be fully aware of what is going on. This allows him/her to search the data for answers to current questions. Being aware of the context ensures that he/she can properly interpret the data and make valid recommendations. This works best when your Data Analyst is part of the same department or team as the Managers or Marketers.
2. Also use your Data Analyst as a trainer and coach
The situation: Your Data Analyst and the Managers or Marketers do not fully understand each other. Managers and Marketers have inadequate understanding of the data, which means that they are unable to convert insights from the data into decisions. Many companies opt for a one-off workshop to pass on this knowledge. But knowledge passed on once is quickly forgotten.
The solution: Managers and Marketers must be able to understand the data and think analytically. Continuous training programs, in which this knowledge is passed, are the best option. This means a Data Analyst must continuously share his/her knowledge and is, therefore, additionally a trainer and coach of the Managers and Marketers.
3. Invest in an active relationship with your Data Analyst
The situation: Managers and Marketers maintain a passive relationship with the Data Analyst. In this situation, the Data Analyst delivers and the Manager or Marketer receives. Such a passive relationship leads to little involvement, so that there is little need to achieve a common goal.
The solution: When the Data Analyst and the Manager or Marketer fully understand each other, they become full-fledged sparring partners. They can exchange ideas and contribute ideas at the same level. This creates an active relationship in which both parties are highly involved in achieving a common goal: a data-driven (marketing) organisation.
This is how your Data Analyst becomes the driver of your data-driven organisation
A Data Analyst does not stand alone; he or she is part of your organisation. Support from the organisation is essential for a Data Analyst to work effectively. The organisation can ensure the Data Analyst is part of the right department or team. A push from the organisation ensures that working with data is not optional. It ensures Managers and Marketers are open to training and coaching with the aim of taking an active attitude towards data. This active attitude ensures findings from data are converted into effective decisions.
- 'Smarter Faster Better, The Secret to Productivity at Home and Work' by Charles Duhigg; Ambo|Anthos 2016
- 'Good data won't guarantee good decisions' by Shvetank Shah, Andrew Horne, Jaime Capellá; Harvard Business Review, the April 2012 issue
Are you looking for a proactive Data Analyst who really adds value to your business? Contact us.
This is an article by Marleen Persoon-Wilting, Digital Analyst, DLL
Marleen is our former colleague. During her time at Digital Power, she worked as a Web Analyst on a project for Philips. She currently works as a Digital Analyst at DLL.
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