In my previous posts, I have discussed the characteristics of data driven organizations, proposed a revised definition of
web analytics and highlighted the three main skills of online analysts. Each post received a fair level of attention and I immensely appreciate the feedback.
However, I feel a piece of the puzzle is missing: if we want to define what is the discipline we're in, and which skills are required, maybe we should look at what we do and what our responsibilities are.
It's been said countless times: the number one factor in successful digital analytics is having a champion at the right level of the organization. Someone sponsoring and vouching for analytics, vouching for you.
Look at your Online Analytics Maturity assessment results; if the 1st dimension is one of the lowest, it is likely you are trying to work on things that are beyond your control and that you can't really influence - you don't have sufficient buy in. Especially if scope & objective are much higher than the team expertise and the analytical process methodology. Of course, if the 1st dimension is too high, the risk is management will have unrealistic expectations about what can be accomplished within your current capabilities. Which other dimensions are the highest? Lowest? This should point out to your strengths and weaknesses.
But the thing is this:
Unless you have clearly defined your role, the tasks that are yours, who will approve your deliverables (not necessarily your boss), who are your internal clients (commonly referred to as stakeholders) and subject matter experts you will rely on, you will never be able to prove your value and optimize your own job.
One of the first activities I recommend is to clearly define roles and responsibilities for all web analytics related activities. For this exercise, we'll rely on a proven approach borrowed from project management and SixSigma concepts: a RACI matrix. A RACI matrix basically lists important tasks and deliverables, and who is Responsible (do), Accountable (sign off), Consulted (subject matter experts) and Informed (stakeholders).
Now, before you tell me a RASCI, CAIRO or DACI is better for whatever reason, I'll tell you what I tell my students when they come up saying a SMARTER objectives are better than SMART ones: the thought process is more important than the acronym.
You can start from the RACI example template and make sure it fits your specific organization.
Once you've done a couple of iterations on your RACI matrix you will have demonstrated leadership, gained buy in from management and stakeholders, and identified areas of opportunities for improving the value and maturity of your analytics practice.
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