Organizations that strive for an integrated approach to data and insight must overcome three challenges: organizational, cultural, and technical. Let’s consider each.
In many organizations, there are distinct boundaries between the various channels. For data and insight, it’s common to see separate teams working in online channels and offline channels. There are arguments for and against this approach.
Online research and analytics teams typically serve internal clients that are themselves focused on the online channel. These teams have a distinct set of analytical tools in their toolbox such as Web analytics data, voice of the customer systems and user testing approaches. As a result, online data is collected, managed, and analysed in a different way than traditional “offline” data. However, as different organizations work more closely together, so too must data and insight teams. At the very least, online and offline data and insight teams must have a greater understanding of what each other is doing or is capable of.
Should businesses combine online and offline analytical and insight teams? There is a case for doing this, but the integrated team must be carefully managed. For example, there are times when Web analysts are made part of the main insight team. But, people running the insight team don’t understand what’s happening online and aren’t able to help develop the online analytics and insights functions. As a result, Web analysts feel isolated from their colleagues working on offline analytics and also from the internal client they serve in the online channel. So, the integration of insights teams should follow the integration of the marketing or business teams rather than lead it. There are enough challenges at the moment within a single channel.
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