Skip to content

10 Signs Nobody Wants Your Analytics

Not every enterprise is ready to appreciate the benefit you bring to the table as the head of analytics. Sure, they might say the right things, giving you false hope of potential future success, but be weary of these 10 common signs that your company might not be ready to be analytically driven:

1. The head of sales can't remember your name

There is a chance this one is on you. Winning the hearts and minds of people isn’t just about how good your models are, it is about how good you are at listening to the problem states of your clients and then superbly communicating the insights from your models to those same beneficiaries in a way that they are ready, willing and able to hear.

2. You get a ticket number when requesting data

IT oftentimes legitimately has a very heavy run and maintain burden with their budgets already fully aligned to that effort. Getting them to pay attention to your “small needs” just isn’t a priority, and there is no other option besides waiting in line.

3. Your CEOs list of company priorities all pertain to bolstering your unbeatable competitive position based on years of experience

Not to be political, but in 1996 it was Bob Dole who tried to “build a bridge to the past” vs Bill Clinton who wanted to “build a bridge to the future”. One of their visions understood the value of doing new things to find success (new things = analytics). That vision got 379 electoral votes and spent 8 years as President. Footnote: see Blockbuster vs Netflix.

4. The company’s stock price is going up with the market, but your budget is flat or down

Every business function must be doing great because the company stock price is soaring! Why would there be a need for analytics to figure out how to do more/better because “we are crushing it!”. Except you aren’t beating the market, you are matching it…hmmm. Oh, and we should never expect a Bear market again I suppose…

5. A lot of your conversations with business colleagues include them saying “I’ve done this for 20 years…”

You are competing with the ample gut instincts of business colleagues who “have been doing this since you were born…” and “know how to do their jobs”. So, you are told to take your magic and go elsewhere.

6. The IT team is adamant that on-prem is the future

That guy at the corner of the table at the senior leadership meeting who keeps saying this, blocking your efforts to move towards the cloud, doesn’t seem to recognize that the top 20 companies on the Fortune 500 all have cloud strategies. Apparently, your company’s information is that special case where it is just way too sensitive to risk putting it into a cloud…unlike Google, Amazon, Walmart, CVS...

7. The cost spent by the business on outside analytics consultants is higher than your team’s budget

Hiring consultants is more often than not the result of one of two reasons [1] you don’t have time/resource to do it yourself or [2] it is perceived as low value to internally develop the competency being outsourced. When you as the analytics leader outsource it is usually #1 – when your business colleagues do this it is because of #2 which may be a reflection of what they think of your value.

8. The leader of your team is upper middle management

“Analytics is a key component to our future success!” is what they said in hiring you. But then you found out that you need your boss’ boss to approve your budget spend and you aren’t in any of the meeting where they discuss company strategies.

9. “How many boxes did we make last month?” sounds a lot like most of the requests you get from your business colleagues

Everyone has bought into this thing called “Analytics” – they read about it over the weekend in that Inc article so…they totally understand it and put it as a skill in their LinkedIn profiles. All they need to do is to look at a sheet of data telling them what happened yesterday, and they’ll know exactly what to do now and tomorrow…based on their best guess.

10. Advanced degrees and years of experience are the top two requirements in job descriptions for your team

Don’t get me wrong, a PhD is a special accomplishment. And experience is irreplaceable, especially in learning soft-skills on how to navigate corporate paths to success. But that guy who dropped out of college, has a substantial Kaggle profile and figured out how to build a convolutional neural network on his own, has value too. That traditional corporate hierarchy developed by the HR Director disqualifying this person is going to be problematic.