Building your teams’ insights and analytics capabilities

There is a much discussed war for talent in insights and analytics. Many organizations are looking for deep technical experts who also have strong business skills. Most of these organizations can find deep technical experts. However, it becomes their responsibility to train these experts to become business thought partners.

Training thought partnership is not easy. Some skills are innate. Other skills might be taught through formal business courses, which may last months. We have found the most efficient and effective training generally comes from on-the-job coaching by a capable and committed mentor.

We center our approach on on-the-job mentorship.

Our first step is to understand the teams’ strengths, which may be their strong expertise. We show the team how to use these strengths to build other skills. For example, an analyst may have a strong aptitude for pattern recognition. We might help this analyst learn to assess which patterns have meaning, and why. A senior manager might struggle with how to reconcile many potentially conflicting insights. We train how to quickly cut through the clutter to find and use the insights they need.

Second, we coach. This means mentoring the team collectively in some areas and working closely with individuals on others. It means working on projects that are relevant to the individual, and practicing skills together that they will use immediately. In short, we provide real time, detailed, and relevant feedback on their actual work.

Lastly, we put learnings in perspective to build for the future. Thus, we intersperse the more informal coaching with a handful of more formal workshops. This is to help teams see how the skills they have been building, and applying, can work in different contexts.

We offer two different ways to build these capabilities.

  1. Generate insights and recommendations with you through a strategic insights and analytics effort. In this situation, we would coach and assist your team in delivering insights-based business recommendations generated from any significant consumer effort. Some example efforts could include needs-based segmentation, behavioral segmentation, conjoint/ choice task, branding effort, consumer/ shopper decision effort, intensive qualitative research (ethnographies, digital diaries, mock shops, shop-alongs), and/ or social media analyses. It could also include topics that are not purely insights-driven, such as workshops to help with insights portfolio planning or coaching around how to influence strategic planning.
  2. Coach across multiple insights efforts to systematically improve your teams’ capabilities. In this scenario, we focus coaching on just select activities your team needs most. This might be study design, stakeholder influencing skills, communications of complex results, distilling insights, and/or developing recommendations.

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