Jason Krantz has over 10 years of business analytics, data science, and strategic leadership experience in public and private equity-owned business, I specialize in creating award-winning analytics strategy, capabilities, teams, and solutions that drive tangible revenue and EBITDA improvements.
He is the founder & CEO of Strategy Titan, a strategic management, data, and analytics advisory firm that focuses on helping companies drive top and bottom-line growth using the power of analytics.
J.K.: While not a distinct accomplishment per se, I'm most proud of the fact that my teams and I have been effective at leveraging data and analytics solutions to drive real change and results in organizations. This is an area many D&A teams struggle with, and it can really limit their impact on a business.
Our ability to do this comes from two main factors:
J. K.: Figures by themselves mean little. We need to compare them to past performance and/or goals to give them value. As an example, if your goal is to acquire new customers, and you grow your customer base 500%, that sounds pretty good, but is it? What was your baseline customer figure? What was your projected growth?
If your baseline figure was 2 customers and you had a goal of 200, then, by your own definitions, 500% growth isn't so stellar.
The second part is bringing clarity on how those customers are adding value (revenue, profit, whatever your organization values) to your company. All customers are not made the same. Adding one or two high-value customers could be equal to adding hundreds of lower-value customers. The key is to identify beforehand who your ideal/perfect customer is and do your best to recruit for that profile.
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J.K.: This can be challenging as the decision-making culture is a major component of success in situations like this. My go-to strategy regardless of culture is to become a trusted resource and let people know that we are here to help them. It really is both that simple and that complex. When people trust you they are much more likely to listen.
How do you build trust? It can be challenging, but I have found a reliable strategy is to understand your customers needs and challenges. With this perspective you can now be proactive and bring possible solutions to them that will help them address their challenges and perform better.
J.K.: Marketing can't take a break during a pandemic, or ever really. Many leaders have elected to cut back on marketing spend. My challenge to them is, rather than cutting spending, be sure that you are getting the maximum return on your marketing spend. Put your marketing data to work to understand how you are performing. Do the analysis to know what is and is not working and focus more resources on those areas that are working. Analytics is a great way to do that.
J.K.: While the breakdowns will be as unique as each company, I believe it comes down to
These types of projects require a lot of support because the success doesn't come via the delivery of a platform or data. Success comes from people actually using the platform and/or data to make better and faster decisions with greater confidence.
D&A teams need to realize that creating and delivering the platform really is just the start of the project. Think about all the solutions that get created, have a rollout, and just sit there unused, delivering no real value to the people it was meant to help.
The real success happens after delivery in the form of coaching, education, and support. Show people that you are interested and invested in their success and bring clarity to how your solutions can help make that happen.
We could get much more technical about the nuances of a successful analytics project implementation, but I think this addresses some of the major challenges. Analytics translator roles can be an effective tactic to help address this gap.
J.K.: Quality data is the foundation for great analytics, better decisions, and, ultimately better business performance. The magic of data literacy enables people to put that data to work. Quality data in the hands of decision-makers capable of doing something with it is a strategic nirvana. This is how real and decisive change and progress happen.
J.K.: Nobody cares about your model, algorithm, solution. They care about how that solution helps them perform better, hit their goals, and/or make better decisions.
I also believe we avoid conversations around the general lack of business literacy in the digital analytics profession. There is unquestionably a gap between data/analytics and the business. It has been there for a long time.
Bridging that gap requires that both sides work together to meet in the middle. The business side needs to work on their data literacy, but the D&A side also needs to work on their business literacy and communication skills.
Just as the business side doesn't need to be experts in all things technical, the digital analytics community doesn't need to be business experts. There does however need to be a foundational level of competency on core business topics.
While this approach is not a panacea, it certainly is a solid starting point for bridging this very real gap.
J.K.: More business users will continue to migrate into the digital analytics world, effectively filling the gap between digital analytics and business. I see many finance professionals being incredibly effective in these roles.
I have said for a while now that the future of effective analytics is likely to be led by CFO's and FP&A leaders.