Measuring Analytics Maturity and the Importance of Balanced Development
Senior Consultant and Customer Experience expert, Hope Norman, recently returned from the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, where website analytics practitioners from across the country presented their experiences, techniques, and challenges in a world in which decision-makers are often far removed from the managers of the data. “Storytelling” was a prevailing theme… apparently, excel spreadsheets and even pretty graphs are not enough in and of themselves to turn insight into action! Blasphemy for us data junkies but a reality that analytics practitioners and leaders must embrace to further the benefits of analytics across an organization.
One of her favorite sessions was Stéphane Hamel of Immeria’s, “Measuring Your Organization’s Web Analytics Maturity.” Hamel asserts that a data-driven eBusiness organization involves a cultural and structural shift. The centerpiece of his presentation was an Online Analytics Maturity Model that rates an eBusiness organization’s web analytics maturity across 6 factors:
5. Methodology & Process
6. Tools & Technology
Organizations self-assess their performance on each of these dimensions. Ideally, an organization will have a culture of gathering, analyzing, and relying on real performance data, with continuous improvement. Practically, we see that most organizations are more advanced in some areas than others. The objective is not only to improve, but to improve in a balanced manner. That seems to make sense – but what does that mean when an organization is faced with acting on the assessment results? Why, exactly IS balanced development important?
The dangers of imbalance are frustration, over-engineering, waste, and disconnect.
· Distributed team of few analysts combined with enterprise-scale CRM implementation? This can mean underutilization of the software, and overworked (underappreciated) analysts.
· Analytics only in one activity sector, but the organization has a cross-division Senior Director of Business Intelligence? That senior director is certainly underutilized, and frustrated by lack of a view into the rest of the business.
· Grand plan to optimize the business, but analysis and development methods are static and linear? The business optimization energy is bound to fizzle.
An organization’s next analytics investment should be towards restoring balance. Becoming data-driven takes cooperation on many fronts. Each of the development dimensions depends on another, and when an organization is stronger on some dimensions than others, the organization is misaligned. Misalignment leads to underperformance.
Understanding your organization’s current maturity level is the first step towards improvement. Hamel has generously provided an online assessment tool, available at http://immeria.com/oamm/assessment.htm. Check it out and report back the findings from your self-assessment. What’s your first step in improving the analytics maturity of your organization?