Three Tips for Getting Analytics and Optimization Teams to Work Together
by Heather Rakuzas
posted on 11-14-2016
Due to silos, it’s extremely likely that various teams within your organization have disparate goals. This can be especially painful when teams that should naturally be collaborating — like analytics and optimization — are working at cross-purposes. In all honesty, analytics without action is much less effective. Similarly, optimization and personalization are most impactful when they’re fueled by and supported with data. Analytics and optimization teams need each other.
Every company has silos that can create obstacles to collaboration, which you’re likely to find when you first ask your analytics and optimization teams to cooperate. If they’re not already working together, you’re not realizing the full potential of either practice. Even worse, you’re walking away from proven ROI. Working with Adobe to better integrate these functions, one national telecom company increased its relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) by 18 percent.
Tips for Integrating Analytics and Optimization Teams
The following steps can help you to integrate these teams, benefit from the insights and improvements born of their collaboration, and reap all that ROI in the long run.
1. Create a Communications Plan.
When starting the integration process, it’s crucial to have a strong communications plan in place. It’s not enough to only speak to one another at monthly meetings. Information must flow back and forth freely between these two teams. It’s difficult to optimize anything without the data to tell you how, and your analytics team may not know where to look for insights without knowing what user-experience insights have come from testing and personalization efforts to date. Using strong communications to establish a single shared workflow can drastically improve the output of both teams. By aligning teams and improving communications, the national telecom retailer mentioned above was able to streamline reports, gaining the transparency and knowledge to support new tests and insights. At Adobe, we strive for regular working sessions between teams, quarterly reviews to track progress, and changes to workflows to ensure collaboration.
2. Integrate Workflows.
As stated above, workflows need to advance to create a truly collaborative environment for the analytics and optimization teams. This goes beyond just communication, though. These teams should have interfaces built into their workflows; that is, part of each team’s workflow should include obtaining the data needed to optimize user journeys and identify areas of opportunity. Optimization is then used to respond to those opportunities, glean insights from key segments and behaviors, and identify new areas to explore. All of this is best done through a shared, iterative process of strategizing, executing, and analyzing data to improve user experience. More than just having a strong line of communication between teams, actual checkpoints and tasks should be part of the integration process as well. This helps both teams achieve even more success. In fact, integrated workflows enabled this national telecom company to use analytics to identify where customers were falling out of the sales funnel. Then, by optimizing the content to offer those customers alternative experiences, they increased the number of customers moving into the checkout process by 20 percent.
3. Lead From the Top Down to Align Goals Across Work Streams.
If your analytics and optimization teams are working to achieve different goals, it’s very likely that they’re tracking different metrics as well. Gaining a true picture of what is going on within your organization can be difficult — and trying to improve efficiencies within your brand can lead to unnecessary delays and misfires. For instance, a major hospitality company with a well-integrated analytics and optimization team process was relaunching its website. The company’s analytics and optimization teams worked together closely to plan the launch, track its progress, optimize and integrate reports on the new site versus the old site, and improve areas of the site that could be optimized. Had they not been working together closely, it’s unlikely the complicated transition would have gone so smoothly nor would the data have been as accurate.
Having teams work together — rather than letting silos overtake your business — has immense benefits for your company. In addition to fostering a culture of inclusivity, teams are better equipped to do their jobs when they have additional information. Moreover, teams aren’t working to achieve disparate goals. Integrating analytics and optimization teams can help you use data-driven marketing to truly boost your organization’s performance, and following the steps above are key to helping you seamlessly integrate them.