shutterstock_47400502.jpg How to staff for analytics seems to be a front and center concern for many enterprises today. It doesn't matter whether there's been zero resources dedicated to digital analytics or whether there's a staff in place. Figuring out whom to hire in order to manage analytics is a big question.

When I had my first full-time analytics position in 1997, I managed a loose team consisting of an analyst/system admin, server admin and DBA. In addition to being the project manager, I also served as an analyst/system admin and business analyst. The server admin and DBA roles were driven by the nature of our log file-based analytics solution. We were in IT.

JavaScript-based data collection led to the fall away of server admin and DBA and the move from IT to marketing. This led to analytics teams often consisting of one person -- a combined analyst/system admin who was also supposed to manage developer resources in IT to properly tag a site for data collection.

This model has been changing over the last few years because the digital channel now consists of web, social and mobile, and recognition that digital data needs to be combined with offline data, such as customer records, and offline touch points such as call center interaction.

So, who should be on your analytics dream team? Let's consider that this team will comprise a center of excellence or program office and that this entity will be part of your digital team, or the marketing department or maybe even BI or research.

I'm often asked whether analytics should be in marketing or IT. Frankly, I think it often depends on the dynamics of the organization. My first analytics position was in IT, and we thrived because we had a clear understanding for how we were to work with marketing and content development. I know other analytics groups that are in marketing, but most of the marketers are offline marketers and don't "get" digital. So, you need to be thinking about digital literacy and overall organizational governance when determining where analytics "sits."

Regarding the staff, here's how it could shape up:

  • VP, Analytics
    • Manages the overall digital analytics program.
    • Manages analytics team, vendors and consultants
    • Primary interface between analytics team, management and peer groups
    • Leads advocacy on the use of analytics to senior leadership

This role is pure management, not a position where there is an expectation to run a program and do analysis work. The role, like the center of excellence, is based on managing the scope of analytics -- not just digital, but also testing, user experience and marketing analytics.

The overall goal is to leverage the compatibility and value of the multiple analytics disciplines. Analytics drives successful testing, targeting and personalization programs. Putting these disciplines within one program provides the impetus for coordination of the analytics … something that rarely occurs in organizations today.

Digital Analytics Team

This team handles management and execution of reporting, dashboard creation and analysis of web, mobile and social measurement, as well as the ability to develop training and provide appropriate support to both analytics consumers and power users of the solutions.

  • Director, Digital Analytics
    • Manages metrics requirements process, reporting, training and support.
    • Manages development of analytics standards for data collection, dashboards, metrics development
  • Analysts -- Social Media, SEO, SEM, Email, Mobile, A/B & Multi-Variate Testing
    • Conducts metrics requirements process, reporting, interpretation and support.
    • Performs deep dive analysis with selected tools.
    • Coordinates admin privileges and provides support on selected solutions.