Making Analytics Work: How to unite your agency with a Data First Culture

What do you think about your agency’s use of data? Your answer should be from a warm “fairly well” to an enthusiastic “we’re smashing this”, then you are doing better than most.

It seems strange that data analytics adoption in modern workplaces should be so difficult. It is becoming more common to talk about Big Data, algorithms, or AI in our culture. These terms are most commonly used by people in the street or have at least heard of them.

Research shows that people don’t accept the importance of these technologies in their daily lives. According to the Harvard Business Review, “data driven” is a term that is less common in businesses.

It’s not enough to expect your employees to adopt data and analytics. If you want your agency to embrace a data-driven culture, you must be intentional.

Why do you need a Data-First Culture?

It’s easy for everyone to lose sight of the deliverables when they are all focused on the same thing. There is so much to do that it’s easy to get too focused on the next thing.

It is natural to stop and reflect in an organization that values data. Data-driven agencies use analytics to determine what works and what doesn’t. This information is then used to make strategic decisions. They replicate good practices and throw themselves at what’s not working.

It’s simple in principle. It’s a simple approach that is effective. Gallup’s recent research showed that companies using customer behavior data outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and 25% in gross margin.

Despite the potential benefits, many organizations have difficulty getting people to embrace data and analytics.

Why do Companies Struggle To Make Analytics Stick?

This dilemma is familiar to anyone who has ever switched between phones with a different OS. It feels awkward; everything is in a new place. It’s frustrating to feel that you can’t just use it to do your day.

It all boils down to the same issue causing analytics adoption problems. People are put off by difficult, confusing UIs. People are put off learning a new platform. People are put off by programs that don’t work well with their existing tools.

Despite all the efforts of analysts software developers to make BI easier, it still doesn’t work. Despite all the technological advances that are supposed to make data easier for everyone, people still resist. The potential of a new era in data analytics has yet to be realized by human psychology.

Some developers have attempted to make analytics more intuitive and simple so that they can be integrated into users’ existing workflows: embedded analytics.

What’s Embedded Analytics?

If a platform is able to generate reports and visualisations from data, it is called embedded analytics.

It is designed to work with users’ natural workflow and make data readily available in a context that suits their needs. It can provide users with all the information they need in order to react quickly to changing circumstances. However, it can also give insights that can be used to prevent future problems. It is easy to use because it is part of the systems and platforms users already use in their daily lives.

How to unite your agency with a data-first culture?

We know that analytics is more intuitive when it feels part of a person’s workflow. This is especially true when they are short on time and need quick answers. This is why you should examine the workflow of your team and assess whether it supports your analytics goals.

The risk of decision fatigue is higher if your tech stack includes multiple, single-purpose tools. Each tool has its own embedded analytics, which increases the risk of decision fatigue. Jumping from one platform to view resourcing information to another to examine project financials to another to review task times estimates creates more friction for the user. This is also important: none of these data can interact. You may need to use another tool to put it all together.

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