Best Practices For Building Talent In Analytics

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Companies across all industries depend more and more on analytics and insights to run their businesses profitably. But, attracting, managing and retaining talented personnel to execute on those strategies remains a challenge. This is not the case for consumer products heavyweight The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), which has been at the top of its analytics game for 50 years now.

During the 2014 Retail/Consumer Goods Analytics Summit, Glenn Wegryn, retired associate director of analytics for P&G, shared best practices for building the talent capabilities required to ensure success. A leadership council is in charge of sharing analytics best practices across P&G — breaking down silos to make sure the very best talent is being leveraged to solve the company’s most pressing business issues.

So, what are the characteristics of a great data analyst and where can you find them?

“I always look for people with solid quantitative backgrounds because that is the hardest thing to learn on the job,” said Wegryn.

Combine that with mature communication skills and a talent for business acumen and you’ve got the perfect formula for a great data analyst.

When it comes to sourcing analytics, Wegryn says companies have an important strategic decision to make: Do you build it internally, leveraging resources like consultants and universities? Do you buy it from a growing community of technology solution providers? Or, do you adopt a hybrid model?

“Given the explosion of business analytics programs across the country, your organization should find ample opportunities to tap into those resources,” advised Wegryn.

To retain and nurture your organization’s business analysts, Wegryn recommended creating a career path that grows and the importance of encouraging talented personnel internally until they reach a trusted CEO advisory role.

Wegryn also shared key questions an organization should ask to unleash the value of analytics, and suggested that analytics should always start and end with a decision.

“You make a decision in business that leads to action that gleans insights that leads to another decision,” he said. “While the business moves one way, the business analyst works backward in a focused, disciplined and controlled manner.”

Perhaps most importantly, the key to building the talent capability to ensure analytics success came from P&G’s retired chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald: “… having motivation from the top helps.”

Wegryn agreed: “It really helps when the person at the top of the chain is driven on data.”

The inaugural Retail & Consumer Goods Analytics Summit event was held September 11-12, 2014 at the W Hotel in San Diego, California. The conference featured keynotes from retail and consumer goods leaders, peer-to-peer exchanges and relationship building.

Article originally appeared HERE.

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