You Ask, I Answer: Advancing Analytics Maturity?

Shelley asks, “I understand the general idea behind the analytics maturity model, but how do you advance? Where are the instructions on how to move to higher stages?”

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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode, Shelly asks, I understand the general idea behind the analytics maturity model.

But how do you advance? Where are the instructions on how to move to higher stages than descriptive analytics? Really good question.

So the five layers of the marketing analytics maturity model are descriptive, which is answering what happened.

Diagnostic chances, why did those things happen? Predictive, which answers the question, well, what happens next? What should we do next? what’s likely to happen next? Prescriptive, which is what should we do about predicting, and then proactive, which is when you have systems that permit you to have some of that automated So an example would be like Google ads, where the system simply just takes care of making changes based on data without your intervention? Now, there’s no, there’s no simple pat answer for how you move from one layer to the next.

It really is dependent on three things.

It’s dependent on the people you have in your organization, and their level of skill.

It depends on the processes that you have in place in your organization that codify your analytics practices, and how agile those are, how responsive to change those are.

And, of course, the technologies, the platforms that you’re using, as to whether those platforms enable you to do additional types of analytical work, right? If you just have Google Analytics, and nothing else, you’re kind of stuck in descriptive analytics.

It’s not until you introduce things like surveying, that you will get to diagnostic analytics, and start to introduce statistics and machine learning in programs like Watson Studio, or R or Python, that you could start doing prescriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The number one thing though, that will get you to move towards a higher level in your analytics is curiosity.

Right? The ability to ask questions.

For example, suppose you open up your Google Analytics account, and you see that website traffic to your blog is up 40%.

If you just nod your head, Go, Cool.

Put that in your PowerPoint for your stakeholders.

And you’re done.

Right? That’s I would call it being very incurious you’re not particularly interested in digging in, you just want to get your work done, which is understandable.

And move on to the next item on your to do list that in curiosity precludes you from moving up a level in the hierarchy of analytics, right? You looked at the data, you analyzed it, you’ve clearly determined what happened.

But then it stopped there.

There was no Well, why was traffic up? 40%? Right, that would be the logical question.

Was it just a fluke? Did we get a piece of coverage on Reddit that somebody mentioned us on Twitter of influencer? Why did that happen? That would be diagnostic analytics.

If you in your analysis and your diagnostics, understand why it happened, then you can start to say, you know, is this something that is is cyclical? is a seasonal? Is this something that we can explain as a trend? And if so, can we then forecast it happening again? That would be your next step from diagnostic to predictive.

If after that, you say okay, well, we know that every MAE there is going to be interested in our blog.

It’s just a one of those seasonal things, then the logical thing to do would be to say, Okay, well, from a prescriptive analytics perspective, what should we do about it? Right? Should we run a campaign? Should we hire another influencers? Who send a whole bunch of email? What can we do? That would take advantage of that natural trend, right, if there is a trend? Or if you find out there isn’t a trend, but in the diagnostic phase, it turns out that it was just an influencer? Whose year you caught? The logical question be Well, great.

Can we do that again? Can we do that differently? Can we do that better? Can we accomplish more if we put some budget behind it? So you don’t necessarily need to linearly move from diagnostic to predictive if the data we’re talking about is not predictable.

But you can move straight to prescriptive to ask the question, What should we do? What is the action we should take? What is the decision we need to make?

Christopher Penn 4:41

Each of the stages and the migration up to the next level and each of the stages is contingent on curiosity.

It is contingent on asking questions and legitimately wanting to know the answers and being willing to invest in the answer You know, it’d be super easy if your cmo was like, oh, yeah, I want to know the answer to that.

I’ll get it to me tomorrow.

Like, I’ll know, this is gonna require some research and some budget, and some people.

And if after you present your business case and say, hey, you know, we think we can increase our results 20%, but we’re going to need 50 grand do it.

If there’s if the powers that be are like, Okay, that’s a worthwhile investment, then you can move up to the next level, right? You can say, Okay, we’ve we’ve analyzed our data, and we’ve found a predictable trend, but we need budget to buy some predictive analytics software or hire an agency to do it for us.

And the, if the stakeholders say yes, then congratulations, you move up another rung on the ladder, on the other hand at the stakeholders, like oh, no, I think you could do that for free.

Then you’re constrained, right? So that’s, that’s how you advance it is.

It’s like anything, right? If you are curious, if you are willing to ask the questions, if you are willing to be wrong, and if you’re willing to invest time, people money to get answers, then you stand a good chance of evolving your analytics practice to those higher levels in the marketing analytics maturity model.

Really good question.

Thanks for asking.


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