Which Came First, the Analyst or the Culture?

By Jason Thompson, co-founder, 33 Sticks
You can spend a lot of money hiring great analysts but unless you have the culture of analytics as a core component across the business, even the best analysts will have a diminished ability to drive value.

Companies that I have worked both for and with that have really leveraged analytics all had one thing in common, the importance of using data to inform decisions was woven into the culture of the company.

When analytics is part of the culture, it becomes it’s own department that has many customers within the business that crave the product (insights and recommendations) that analytics can offer. When I ran an analytics organization on the client-side, my customers were the executive team, creatives, developers, product managers, marketeers, support reps, etc. etc. etc.

I’ll offer a few uses cases to highlight how different levels in the organization interacted with the analytics organization.

Executive Team

The Executive Team would receive a weekly digest containing the performance of top level metrics. It’s important to note that this was not simply an automated report containing metrics but a summary that contained commentary from the Analytics Team on what the changes in metrics meant, in context, to the business.

In addition to the weekly digest, the Executive Team would take part in a monthly discussion in which the Analytics Team would present in-depth findings and recommendations.


The Marketing team used the Analytics Team to help in the creation of their campaigns i.e. what is the best segment of our population to target this specific campaign to? It was a collaborative effort between the two groups.

After each campaign, the Analytics Team would present detailed results of the performance of the campaign, highlighting areas where future campaigns could be improved to optimize marketing spend.

This collaborative effort helped the Marketing Team run a very efficient organization based on the intelligence that the Analytics Team was able to provide.

Product Management

The Product Management Team utilized analytics as early on as the ideation stage. The ability to properly analyze product features was so important to the business that new product specs could not be summited for review without having a detailed analytics plan in place for how the feature would be measured and evaluated.

In my opinion, the higher you can drive the adoption rate of analytics throughout the organization, the more you can ingrain analytics into the culture, the greater the competitive advantage you can create. Analytics should be looked at as a valuable source of knowledge and all successful people and organizations should have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
NOTE: This article was originally published on LinkedIn.