In God we trust, all others bring data!
Posted by widgetgirl on May 5, 2008
Tom Davenport kicked off the E-Metrics summit this morning here in San Francisco with a presentation on how to compete on analytics. He is a great speaker, very dynamic and a die-hard Red Sox fan (yeah!).
Keynotes are always meant to rally the crowd and get everyone inspired to run off to the respective sessions of the conference and seek “enlightenment” in the practice of analytics. However, Tom delivered on his keynote by providing some really great takeaways. When building out the analytics team within your organization, he outlined how you have to be focused on ensuring that you build the correct processes and infrastructure to support success – it isn’t just about the human capital doing the analysis. Two core pieces of the infrastructure – data and ensuring that you have an Enterprise-wide view of the customer.
- Enterprise – Competing on “Spreadsheets” is a bad idea.
- You may need beefier hardware and infrastructure.
- The organization will need some level of centralized expertise.
Enterprise-wide customer view
- In this segment he displayed an interesting grid that shows the data sources across the organization and how to marry that up with the groups and processes that are going to utilize it to make decisions. You need to be sure that the data sources that are available are actually reaching the current and potential end users of that data. Such a simple concept, but so many organizations do not take the time to map where the data is being used. Just taking this simple step can help you identify gaps in communication between orgs to truly “Compete on Analytics”.
Two great mantras that Tom through up on the screen that I just loved:
- “Do we think, or do we know?”
- “In God we trust, all others bring data”
This resonated with me as I have had the opportunity to work in an organization that did not embrace this (they shall go un-named) and a few who do. Getting your executives on board to build a data-driven brand is a critical underpinning to making this happen. Tom coined this as “The Great Divide”. You have to have your senior management team committed. They must be committed in order to compete on analytics.
One of the most interesting slides showed how organizations need to build their analytical teams. You need to have a solid mix of the professionals and the amateurs. A recommended mix (think food pyramid when you look at his slide graphic) broke down as follows:
- 5-10% of the staff should be analytical professionals. These are the guys who can write the algorithms (our algos as we call them at Clearspring).
- 15-20% of the staff should be semi-professionals who manage, analyze and persuade the business on the analytics.
- 70-80% of the staff should be amateurs that can use spreadsheets and reports. These are your next semi-professionals, so put them on the path to analysis and learning the business.
Tom was a really dynamic speaker – great choice for the kickoff keynote! Competing on analytics is so critical – especially when trying out new Web 2.0 mediums like widgets. You can’t and you shouldn’t launch it if you can’t measure what you are doing.
Key takeaways from Tom – what you can do for your organization:
- Help develop a test and learn culture for every tactical initiative.
- Help the organization think about multi-channel analytics.
- Come up with unique metrics for mweb and multi-channel offerings.
- Get out of the commodity web reporting buesinss.
- Spread the analytical gospel around the organization.it.
And the last random takeaway – did you know that the Red Sox and Patriots are highly analytical driven organizations? Every home game has 25 key indicators that are measured – not just baseball stats, but how the visitors in the park are enjoying their experience. Go Sox! Just think of what that dashboard would look like on the Jumbotron!
Off to the next session. Cheers!