A good twitter exchange with Evan Lapointe follows below. I’ve tried to put them into sequence, but admittedly, we were actively tweeting at one another in a cluster of ideas.
I started tweeting Evan out of the blue, in part because of a podcast he was in,
CB: @evanlapointe You make good points. I’m skeptical that the person holding the ruler should also be responsible for generating the strategy
EP: @cjpberry I wouldn’t say generating the strategy, necessarily, but conducting the orchestra once the music is written
CB: @evanlapointe Yes. I agree. I make the distinction between measurement, convenient reasonsing, strategic analytics and marketing science.
EP: @cjpberry we’re lucky if it’s only 4!
CB: @EvanLapointe Measurement is straight observation and reporting. Convenient reasoning is explicit sandbagging.
CB: @EvanLapointe Strategic analytics is the application of the scientific method to data for the purpose of deriving competitive advantage.
CB: @EvanLapointe Marketing Science is the search for truth and enduring sustainable competitive advantage. So there are 4 divisions.
EP: @cjpberry yeah, I think our greatest value is in asset allocation. we know the value of portfolio mixes via our analysis.
EP: @cjpberry I agree with you. But simply providing a measure service horribly muffles value of analytics
EP: @cjpberry generally, analysts don’t understand business. essentially all about efficiency and congruency once a business is up & running
CB: @EvanLapointe Some analysts understand the business better than the people who believe they run the business. Some. Not all. 😉
EP: @cjpberry I guess my core point is we don’t have to be the specialists. our value is in arranging the specialists
EP: @cjpberry I can’t say that’s an untrue statement, but with such a web focus, I’d say the ratios weigh 95% to not at all
EP: @cjpberry I haven’t spoken with a single web analyst who has noted that their web issues are a consequence of comp structure
EP: @cjpberry our sites are a result of our operations. not the other way around
EP: @cjpberry nearly every IA, UX, or marketing issue can be directly tied to a conflict of interest of some sort. not an accident.
CB: @evanlapointe Hmmm. I believe the best analysts are the ones who try running an eCommerce site. Less than 5% try. Your figures are right.
EP: @cjpberry always a pleasure!
I left it there, in part because not everybody was following both of us. And Twitter really isn’t supposed to be a conversation medium (apparently).
To add to the discussion:
The unique, zesty zing that a web analyst can bring to the table is rooted in the analytical mindset. I agree with Evan that we ought to be better. I want to enumerate just how much better, and where.
Strategic analytics mandates that the ruler is reliable and unbiased. The ruler is essential.
It also mandates an understanding of the business, strategy, and analytics.
The definition of strategy is deliberate, reinforcing choice. The definition of analytics is the application of the scientific method to data to derive sustainable competitive advantage, typically through insight generation. An insight is a novel finding that wasn’t known before, that causes a decision that would not have been taken, that results in profit or a sustainable competitive advantage.
Great strategists are incredibly rare. I don’t quite understand this grand desire among so many to become ‘strategists’. There are loads of imitators. Choice is difficult, because of a strange culture where we’re taught not to really make a choice and stick with it. Systems thinking is hardly ubiquitous. You could spend your
I know many analytics analysts and marketing scientists. They too are very rare in general.
The overlap of the two sets is golden. How many strategic analysts are there on Earth? Now really?
Now add business acumen – the ability to even understand how to organize capital – and you have some sort of ultra cyborg.
I’m not saying don’t try.
I’m saying realize that it is far more probable that a really great analytical mind, with knowledge of strategy and some business acumen is the most probable outcome. We have to start from the base of analytical thinking because that’s what we’re strongest at.
So, what’s the strategy for breaking up?