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Making the most of your analytics

22nd Sep 2015
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I am sometimes accused of being ‘brainy’. And it got me thinking. Yes, I guess what I do is technically quite complicated, but actually there are plenty of brainy people out there who could do what I do, if they so choose. There I go, thinking again; but it got me thinking (again). How do we, as an industry of marketers, get the most out of our analytics and stop it being seen as just some very clever stuff that ‘pointy heads’ do. I have four main thoughts about this... you see, I’ve been thinking.

1. Keep your message simple

It doesn’t matter how clever you think your analytics are, delivering clarity of message back to the business is key. After all, the clever bits are what you are paid for – I don’t need (or want) a surgeon to explain everything he is doing to me, I just need to trust he knows what he is doing!  Does a marketer care whether you fitted the most recent genetic algorithm or a new innovative technique for attribution modelling? I doubt it, they just want to understand how your solution helps them solve their current challenge.

2. Focus on business outcomes

Ultimately, the business outcome rules head and shoulders above any other, whether it be improving customer acquisition, optimising customer journeys and in-life management, transforming a brand positioning or something else. It so follows that all analytics must add value in delivering on these business goals and outcomes. A business might be equipped to look at meaningful data, it might even produce a ‘wow’ reaction, but unless it’s combined with a business ‘so what’ moment, you will never truly change the businesses you support into absolute data-driven decision-making entities.  

3. Talk to your stakeholders

No business owner really wants to outline their challenge and wait and wait and wait for the all-seeing analytical eye to dispatch the Holy Grail from its ivory tower. They want to be kept informed along the way and feel that the analysts have truly listened to and are working with them to solve their current (and many) business challenges. Let’s be honest, the best place for a black box is on board a plane. If you take your stakeholders with you then they will become your best advocates for the future.  

4. Work together

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing analysts working together, yet nothing more challenging than analysts who think they can do it all on their own. Similarly, clear recommendations from a group of analysts, as opposed to one from a single person who has not collaborated with colleagues, impart oodles more confidence. There is safety in numbers on so many fronts and it is much more fun, too.

Analytics, when applied appropriately, can deliver huge impact. It’s really not that hard, and it’s certainly not just for ‘pointy heads’. By following simple principles, anyone can learn how to apply meaningful analytics to any business and reap the results. They must operate within a collegiate business model where partnership is key, and business challenges and solutions need to be articulated clearly to all involved. Above all, keep it simple and focused. Over to you - and it’s you, the ‘roundy heads’, that can do all this.


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