Analytics for the Business Leader: A Survival Guide

What’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap Malcolm Gladwell’s hair in a single bound? It’s today’s data-savvy business leader. If you’re a decision-maker who’s still not comfortable with the language of data and measurement, it’s time to hit the books or risk becoming a statistic.

You can do it

Much has been written about the acute shortage of qualified data analysts and scientists as companies ramp up to compete in the age of Big Data, but a good deal less has been said about the shortage of managers who are qualified to lead them and take advantage of their expertise.

…while marketers know they must reinvent themselves, they simply don’t know how.

It’s not for lack of awareness. A study this March by Adobe found that three-quarters of marketers agreed they need to be more data-focused to succeed, and seventy-two percent agreed that long-term success at their company is tied to proving marketing ROI. Yet they still aren’t widely using data to make informed decisions. In fact half reported “trusting their gut” when making decisions on where to invest budgets.

The study concluded that while marketers know they must reinvent themselves, they simply don’t know how.

How to take action

You don’t have to become an expert in analytics. But you do need to have enough comfort and understanding to ask the right questions, grasp the information you’re handed and help your experts to better help you.

Here are some ways to get started, in order of ascending commitment:

How are you measuring up?

For today’s leader, a basic literacy in data and analytics has become as crucial to professional legitimacy and success as a mastery of digital became 10 years ago. It may be a matter of survival.

Customer Experience & ROI

Only 35% of global companies using analytics say they frequently have all the data needed to make key business decisions. Source: MIT Sloan Management Review

Recommended Reading

Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions By Jason Burby, Shane Atchison and Jim Sterne

Learn more at