2014-12-June-The-Other-Football.jpgI was recently having dinner with a former colleague and he reminded me that it was only four weeks until opening day of football training camp. Normally this wouldn't be important, except he's a rival in my fantasy football league and was clearly trying to impress me with his attention to player moves, injuries and variables that would influence his draft day picks. “After all of the March free agent signings, I don’t even know who’s playing for whom anymore,” he admitted.

It made me think that of the similarities between managing a fantasy football team and a digital analytics team.

1. Build Your Team Around the League Scoring System

Scoring systems in fantasy football can change depending on the whims of your league commissioner. Last year our quarterbacks lost points for interceptions. Quarterbacks with accurate arms did better than those that passed for lots of touchdowns, but had lower pass completion percentages.

When choosing your team, build it for the organization that you’re in, not the one you think you should be. If you have lots of data collection set up work ahead of you, make sure you have someone on your team who knows your digital analytics platform. If you are planning to do deep dive analysis more than dashboards, then choose a strong analyst. If you’re going to be doing customer experience testing, then have the right person for the task. You can find a list of basic positions in my Dream Team article.

2. Know Team Member Strengths

Some receivers are great at putting up big yardage numbers and some score more touchdowns. You need to have realistic expectations about their ability and performance.

Same goes for you analytics team. You can have analysts who are stronger at doing the work and others who are stronger at communicating results and presenting to your stakeholders. Rather than get frustrated with what your team can and can’t do, consider analyzing and understanding their strengths. We just used a tool called StrengthsFinders to get a sense of individual attributes. Even though we all do digital analytics, we found our strengths to span 17 different areas. It is very helpful in understanding how to work with each other for problem solving, brainstorming and communication.