To recap, we have been using the anal­ogy of sky­div­ing to show the ana­lyst how they can gain effi­cien­cies within their com­pany and gar­ner exec­u­tive buy-in to your ana­lyt­ics pro­gram. In Ana­lytic Solu­tions: Ground School,” I cov­ered research into the type of ana­lyt­ics you will have to do to be suc­cess­ful in your pro­gram. In “Ana­lyt­i­cal Data Matu­rity Takes Some Work (Fit­ness Train­ing),” I explored a few gen­eral best prac­tices to help get your ana­lyt­ics machine up and run­ning quickly and effi­ciently. Now it’s time to apply some of the tools we’ve devel­oped in our quest to launch your pro­gram into the “wild blue yonder.”

The idea of a tube in sky­div­ing is to allow the sen­sa­tion of freefalling. Float­ing a few feet off the ground, one has the oppor­tu­nity to prac­tice freefall skills. The would-be sky­diver can learn to use their body to slow down, speed up, per­form flips, and many other skills in a con­trolled envi­ron­ment. You should be work­ing on your out­put skills using every tool avail­able to you. Here’s a few tips to help you reach the point where you are ready to step out into noth­ing but air.

Set Your Baseline

Any improve­ment in effi­ciency or the bot­tom line must be proven if an ana­lyst is ever going to achieve exec­u­tive buy-in. Sim­ply say­ing, “Things are bet­ter” using a col­or­ful Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tion is not enough; hard num­bers and mea­sur­able out­put are required. A use­ful out­put depends on a solid base­line. For exam­ple, if the ana­lyst is tar­get­ing more engaged clients in New York State, it is crit­i­cal to have the actual traf­fic and vis­i­tor engage­ment data in hand before begin­ning to fine tune a process or strat­egy. A great out­put is a com­par­a­tive analy­sis derived from a base­line and end result—how much did we achieve? Set­ting a base­line also helps the ana­lyst define their objec­tive clearly. With Adobe Ana­lyt­ics Pre­mium, you can actu­ally pre­dict (or sim­u­late with high con­fi­dence) the impact a tar­geted cam­paign will have in hit­ting your online opti­miza­tion goals before you ever even begin your tar­get­ing campaign.

Choose Wisely

I take an empa­thetic and prac­ti­cal approach when I pri­or­i­tize the chal­lenges present in any busi­ness. You have to start some­where, right? I start with the CMO. Typ­i­cally, these exec­u­tives are in a tough posi­tion. In the past, prov­ing a CMO’s effec­tive­ness was not always easy. Key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors were tough to ratio­nal­ize against the cross-channel deci­sions and respon­si­bil­i­ties demanded from the CMO. With social media, mul­ti­ple device types, splin­ter­ing mar­ket­ing chan­nels, sub­scrip­tion radio, and every other mar­ket­ing medium avail­able, fig­ur­ing out what is work­ing and what is not can be a com­pli­cated propo­si­tion. It’s just as chal­leng­ing to fig­ure out how to best use these mar­ket­ing tools. As a result, CMOs invest a great deal of time and effort into tools (and peo­ple) that can pin­point how effec­tive a cam­paign or process has been. Ana­lysts who can help the CMO gain a clear pic­ture of the company’s mar­ket share and rev­enue growth today and what it will do in the future have done their jobs exceed­ingly well.

The Same Ol’ Song and Dance

While not all out­puts will be the same across every indus­try and across every poten­tial strate­gic area of focus for the busi­ness, it is impor­tant to real­ize that estab­lish­ing a solid, sin­gle ver­sion of the “story” or base­line via an exec­u­tive dash­board is crit­i­cal from the onset. Pass­ing on information/insights and mak­ing rec­om­men­da­tions in an effi­cient man­ner is an analyst’s ulti­mate goal. Exec­u­tives gen­er­ally do not have the time to won­der at how clever their ana­lysts are—they want to see results, usu­ally as quickly as pos­si­ble. Hav­ing the same out­put for­mat allows them to know where to quickly retrieve the data they are look­ing for. You can tell them how clever you are at the com­pany ban­quet. In the office, they are look­ing for results. Be aware that chang­ing the func­tion­al­ity or even the aes­thet­ics of your out­put will often cause a few extra ques­tions. The idea is to build trust. Noth­ing builds trust more quickly than famil­iar­ity and consistency.

These are lofty, but attain­able goals that can be reached by any ana­lyst. Using tools like those in the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud, an ana­lyst has the abil­ity to pos­i­tively impact a com­pany. So, we’ve done our ground school, got­ten lean and fit, and then showed the board­room our moves. Now what? Now, my friend, we are ready to step out into the wild blue yonder.