Why Analytics Projects Fail – #7: Lack of Talent

When analytics projects fail due to lack of talent, this is generally symptomatic of a bigger cause. Lack of talent is something that can be much harder to fix then just hiring someone.

One of the reasons behind the lack of talent may be a misunderstanding of the project by senior leadership or just an overall lack of management support. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the best thing you can do is work with a senior leader to help them understand what level of talent is needed. When you do this you can enhance your analytics solutions and have them advocate for you to get the right talent.

Lack of vision and/or focus by your organization can also result in not having the right talent available for the job. It might not even be the analyst, but the it might be something missing within the development team or the project implantation team. This generally ends up with analytics solutions being full of patchwork shortcuts that limit their impact.

Lack of funding can also be an issue, where your organization just can’t offer a competitive package to the available talent. This is becoming even more of an issue lately as good analytics talent is in high demand and the supply can’t come close to keeping up.

Having the right analyst, with the right skills sets, the right training and the right tools aligned to give your business a good analytics solution misfires a lot. There are hundreds of business intelligence tools, thousands of types of databases, all generating very unique reports. When one of these elements does not match up it can easily cause a failure due to lack of talent.

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My suggestion if you think you have a lack of talent problem is draw some kind of process flow. Who are all the players in each part of the process? What applications are used to collect, store, analyze and report your data? What programming or language skills are required?  When you lay all this out then you have an idea of what skills and experience your analyst needs. Combine this with the people side of the job, what communication skills, what data visualization skills, what project skills does your analyst need? If you don’t have anyone in the organization with this list of skills, you need to either hire one or create one.

When you look at job postings right not for analysts, its easy to see that requirements vary greatly across positions.  No two companies have the exact same analytics needs not employee analysts the exact same way. So if you are going out to hire one, make sure you have a clear idea of what you need and not get caught up in looking for an analytics rock star.

It is often easier to actually look inside and find someone who can be trained to take on the role. Having internal business knowledge and knowing the organizational culture are huge plusses. A lot of time because that person doesn’t have the skills on their resume yet, they get excluded. However, I have always favored promoting from within and upskilling then going out and hiring an unknown variable.

So if you think lack of talent is killing you analytics project and are not sure what to do next. Connect with me. Let’s build a job description that tailor fits your needs and see where the best place is to find them. It’s probably someone sitting in a cube next to you.

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce that fuels Data-Driven Decison-Making. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization.

A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.


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