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Power of the People: Building Your Data Analytics Dream Team

By Kate Supino
Business.com / technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

The data is only as good as the people analyzing it. Find out what 3 pieces should be in place to complete your data analytics dream team.

At the end of the day, an analysis project is only as good as the people doing the analyzing.

But how do you build a data analytics dream team that performs well again and again? The basic principle is simple.

Look for people who have a profound understanding of what they should be looking for, people who know what technology is available to help them achieve the goal, and people who are proficient with that technology.

Understanding the Goal

Your data analytics team should have a clearly defined goal that you determine. Big data is vast and can be looked at from multiple angles. Each of those angles can highlight different needs or courses of action that may need to be pursued. Unless your team has a specific outcome, purpose or target data point that they are looking for, they may never find anything of use for your organization.

This can be compared to setting off on a journey with no clear destination. Without a destination, a map and a sense of direction, time and energy will be wasted and targets will never be reached.

Communicating your organization’s needs to your data analytics team is also central to making sure they understand the ultimate goal. Surprisingly, however, even the best communicators won’t be able to get the message across to certain people.

There are those in the recruitment business—or for that matter, any business—who are so mired in the old ways that they will give lip service to clients and managers, all the while fully intending to do things the way they’ve always done.

To ensure that your data analytics team fully understands your organizational needs and future goals, implement these communication strategies:

Related Article: Make the Dream Work: 12 Proven Tactics For Building a Better Team

1. Ask Them to Repeat What You Said

This is an old technique, but it still works. When they communicate back with their interpretation of your message, look out for key oversights or misunderstandings in meaning.

If you don’t think they truly comprehend the underlying message, even after explaining a second time, look elsewhere for your dream team. If they aren’t listening now, they never will.

2. Ask Them How They Intend to Implement the Task

People who listen to ideas and concepts with focus can generally come up with some way—however small—to improve upon the idea or take it to the next step.

If your team member can’t come up with at least one actionable concept right away, chances are you’ve caught them off guard because they weren’t listening to what you just asked them to do. This signals a communication chasm that may or may not be crossed.

3. Ask Them Their Opinion of Your Stated Goals

They should be able to effectively state their opinion of whether your goals are reachable or whether they can be reached faster in another way. If they come up with nothing, however, it’s a sure sign they don’t have an opinion because they weren’t focused on your conversation.

Using the Best Technology 

Your data analytics dream team should be able to come to you with some new technology that can help your organization achieve its goals.

If they’ve been keeping up with the industry, they’ll understand that

  • Mobile access is critical,
  • Best in class companies are all using an open data acquisition suite, and
  • Candidate relationship management tools are becoming standard.

If they don’t bring technology like this to your attention, it’s likely they’re using outdated modes that will prove ineffective against your competitors. 

Related Article: Are You Getting Everything You Need to Convert from Your Analytics?

Being Proficient With the Technology

The last part of the puzzle for building your data analytics dream team is to ensure they know how to actually use the technology available. Putting big data and technology in the hands of people who don’t know how to interpret results or how to manage the mounds of data you can collect makes them impotent and puts your organization woefully behind.

On the flip side, if you feel you’ve discovered the perfect team to manage the copious amount of data coming into your organization, but you’re under impressed with their technical skills, it’s wise to invest in talent training.

Your choices are to take someone who is already highly proficient in your organization off their current project and place them in the role of teacher, implement an individual training program where your team undertakes education courses on their own, or spend the money to hire an outside coach who specifically offers the training your team so desperately needs.

In almost any situation, the best course of action is to hire an outside trainer to bring your team up to speed with the technology. You won’t lose the services of a valued employee, you won’t need to monitor individual training, and you can retain the third-party coach as long as necessary.

Once you have secured these three pieces—communication, technology and know how—your data analytics dream team should fall into place. Then you will be able to feel comfortable knowing that all the data you’re paying for will be used to its fullest extent for the value of your organization.


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