Growing up, I learned early on the power of distributed intelligence when my parents decided to take the hard road and have our new house custom built. Naive to the world at the time I just assumed Bob the Builder (Full Transparency, Bob the Builder was not born at this point of the past) would finish the whole thing. I was surprised to eventually meet the Architect, General Contractor, the Electrician, the Plumber, and a whole cast of characters. My dad eventually explained to me that each person is the best at what they do and none could accomplish the entire job themselves … very well.
Within many organizations it is assumed that a bunch of Web Analyst’s’ can perform all the tasks needed for a data-driven organization. This could not be further from the truth and likely will burn a fantastic employee out. In the short-term you might end up with a killer Omniture implementation or the best dashboards seen in the company. Now here’s the rub, neither of those things impress the C-suite at the end of the day. You need distributed intelligence, in other words a host of talent at your fingertips. At Digitaria we have split these skill sets up in the following areas:
What is the team:
Strategic Thinkers / Data Analysts – When you think of analysts, these are your folks. They may not be coders and may not be able to knock the socks off the CMO with their presentation but they find the insights that will. P values, cross-channel attribution, data modeling, KPI Definition … they know their stuff.
Communicators – This is the important part. Without great communicators in your analytics organization you will fail. On a short-term you will meet expectations and start to delver some insights you are proud of … but they end there as insights. Not actions taken. You need great communicators to promote these ideas, become part of the production process and gain buy-in from stakeholders.
There was a time when you could be the jack of all these trades. The digital measurement environment is way to complex now. Personally speaking I am not the implementation specialist I once was but have greatly improved the way I can communicate to key stakeholders. Of course, you may find that ninja in the ruff but you likely can’t afford them. Instead take inventory on what you need the most, likely the communicator, and outsource the rest. Don’t however make the mistake of assuming your new hire knows it all.