The right people and leadership are absolutely key to the success of any analytics team—traditional or digital or unified. A full-force, world-class digital analytics team should be out talking and interacting with people, not only working with data. Your team will also need to handle most of the technical work to produce the data, then will need to analyze the data, and next present the data. Without analytical narratives, the face-to-face telling of stories using data, an analytics program will never run at full power. World-class analytics teams hire and do whatever it takes to retain multidimensional, intellectually curious people who are able to understand the technical, comprehend the mathematical, and succeed at the social components of analytics.

In the many years I have been running analytics programs in large, globally distributed multinational companies or consulting with them, I found the wrong mix of people to always be a recipe for disaster and stress for all involved. Any analytics managers taking on roles where they must manage people must carefully consider the business requirements for the job and quickly determine whether the current team or the team you will build is based on skill sets and personalities that fit business goals for the team.

Digital analytics professionals with real experience in managing and/or executing across the analytical value chain are uncommon, even rare, to find. ...

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