Centralized vs Decentralized Analytics: All You Need To Know

Having spent the past dozen years in an Analytics role, both as an individual contributor and as a manager, I’ve had the opportunity to see the analytics function work within centralized, decentralized, and matrixed organizational structures. The relative merits of building a centralized versus decentralized Analytics organization depend largely on exactly what you expect to get out of the Analytics function in your organization, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons — and to structure the Analytics function correctly to meet your organizational goals.  Continue reading “Centralized vs Decentralized Analytics: All You Need To Know”

The Organizational Roles of Reporting vs. Analysis: Determining Your Mix

When establishing, expanding, or staffing an analytics and/or reporting function within your organization, there are a few key considerations that will strongly impact the types of services the group can provide, how the group provides value to the firm, what skillsets should be considered for each role, and what kinds of tools will be required in order to adequately support your Analytics function.  Getting this right isn’t difficult, provided there’s an honest assessment of what this role’s major responsibilities will be.  A small amount of effort in planning and staffing ensures that your organization gets the timely operational information it needs to make day-to-day tactical decisions while leaving you positioned to deliver strategic insights and shape the Analytics function into a revenue-producing powerhouse.

Continue reading “The Organizational Roles of Reporting vs. Analysis: Determining Your Mix”

How Non-Compete Agreements Really Work

Part of the ritual of starting a new job is signing all the paperwork: the acceptance letter, I-9, W-4, insurance forms, direct deposit.

Oh, and the non-compete and confidentiality agreements.

When we accept an offer for a new job, signing a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment seems like a footnote at the end of a long chapter… something that surely we don’t need to actually read.  Non-competes are ubiquitous — and, we assume, mostly harmless.  However, these agreements are so common (and so one-sided) that I wanted to spend a few minutes describing how they really work in practice. Continue reading “How Non-Compete Agreements Really Work”

How to use LinkedIn to get a job and get ahead

LinkedIn is not just Monster.com 2.0… it represents an entirely different way of thinking about and managing your career progression.

Many of us (most of us?) begin a job search reactively in response to something — maybe we didn’t get that promotion, the culture changed, we’re not getting the training or support we want, or one of a thousand other reasons. But most of us put off changing jobs or even careers until we’ve reached a very high point of frustration.

What LinkedIn does is this: Continue reading “How to use LinkedIn to get a job and get ahead”

There is no room at the top for the hired help

Avinash Kaushik recently addressed a question perenially on our minds — how to make more money as a web analyst — by offering some very specific advice on how to choose a career path in web analytics based on your strengths and aspirations.  It’s a long post but definitely worth a read if you’re in the field.

But the subject of career path has been on my mind for awhile. Over time I’ve observed that most companies (or possibly business units if we’re talking about very large organizations) offer a rock-star career path for only one specific skillset. That is, before you can answer the question “How can I get ahead?” you’ve got to answer the question Continue reading “There is no room at the top for the hired help”

LinkedIn Best Answer: What should MBAs learn about marketing research?

A question was asked on the LinkedIn Q&A forum: “What should MBAs learn about marketing research?” My response was selected as Best Answer to this question, so I wanted to share.

Question (paraphrased):

What should MBA students learn about marketing research? Which research methods should they be exposed to?

Answer:

MBAs should learn to be advanced consumers of marketing research; they should NOT be learning how to actually perform the research.

Ultimately, business managers are more likely to be making the call about whether to spend resources conducting research than to be doing the research themselves. Accordingly, one of the most important things for MBAs to know about marketing research is how to make the decision of whether to initiate a research project.

On its face, the decision calculus is simple: Will the benefit of having this information exceed the cost of acquiring it? Real-world scenarios can sometimes be less clear, but this question is where you should start. Overall, becoming an educated consumer of marketing research offers a much greater benefit to the MBA than does seeing a few examples from the vast catalog of research methods.