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Easy on the Analysts!

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

So, I don’t mean to be hard on analysts. Analysts don’t naturally build ivory towers. They are usually just good people in an inefficient or ill-conceived corporate structure. The key fallacy they labor under is the illusion that they can supply enough information to everyone to really make a difference. One analyst can’t, because the scope of the demand is just too high. So we add another analyst to help that analyst, and then another when it is still not enough. And rarely has an analyst faced the quicksand of a sales call, or had to answer for disappointing distribution results. Until you have been under fire and used your wits to come out successfully, you can’t really anticipate how to prioritize and optimize data for the sales environment.

What needs to happen is a seamless transition from database to sales call, with enough training to make it all work. Surely, if an analyst is tasked with a series of one-size-fits-all reports to be used in the sales arena, they will fail. There is just too much data and too many permutations of the tasks to which we direct data. It is impossible, and it is not the analyst’s fault. It is the fault of the system they labor in. I have heard it said that 96% of a person’s success in the workplace depends on the system they work within. A great worker can fail in a bad system. A mediocre worker can succeed in a great system. No one remembers Billy Bates, but he wears a World Series ring he won with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990. In game two, he chunked a pitch straight into the ground and managed to get on first. Two hits later, he was scoring the winning run. He was just good enough to be on first when the organization took over, but we won’t see him in the Hall of Fame.

The chore at hand, therefore, is to devise a better system; one that lifts everyone up. That is what I am talking about.