This blog is part of Aryng’s analytics tips series for executives: CMO, Chief Product Officer, and CEO
A philosophy professor stood before his class. As class started he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with Big Rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. He then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar, which filled up everything else. The students unanimously agree that the jar was now full. He then proceeds to fill the jar with beer
The professor likens his analogy to life – big rocks are big things in your life – family, health – things that if all else were lost, your life would still be full. So take care of the big rocks first. We extrapolate it to an organization. The big rocks are the 3-5 mandates that drive the organization like maintaining X% customer satisfaction, maintaining greater than Y% return on assets, employee retention and driving stakeholder value. The Big rocks for any organization shouldn’t change often. It informs company’s goals and is sometimes used interchangeably. The pebbles are the key initiatives that deliver the Big Rocks; these may change from year to year. The sand is everything else which is done in the organization towards achieving and maintaining the Big Rocks. It is important that initiatives and actions within the organization don’t compromise these Big Rocks. And the beer? Well, there’s always room for celebration.
- A well-formulated Analytics Agenda helps to keep alignment with the Big Rocks and KPIs, by managing and recalibrating the drivers of the business. The big question is – how to lay an optimal analytics agenda? You do that by asking 3 Key Questions of your data and run your business with those insights:
- How am I doing?
- What drives my business?
- Who are my customers and what are their needs?
- Measurement Framework to answer “How am I doing?”
- Portfolio Analysis to answer “What drives my business?”
- Customer Analysis to answer “Who are my customers and what are their needs?”
- If you have a well-functioning analytics team, forward this DIY whitepaper on the 3 Key Questions framework to the head of analytics.
- If you are looking for a head of analytics or looking to set up the analytics team, our analytics recruiting team can help you find the right head of analytics and the team, in record time. Please fill this short form if that is of interest.
- If you are heading up a business unit or a function and would like us to unearth the drivers of your business FAST, by using and teaching your team the 3 Key Questions approach, please fill this short form and I will be in touch shortly.
- And lastly if you are a business professional or an analyst looking to sharpen your ‘data to decisions’ skill and learn how to lay the analytics agenda, please enroll in our online self-paced analytics course today. Use the code ‘SPCL-100-off’ for your special $100 discount till Feb 15th 2014.
- Then engage across and through your organization to fully understand and build the three pillars of understanding, which are:
Think of it as a high-level analytics plan for the whole business. Most importantly, the 3 Key Questions needs to be a cross-functional initiative, originating from leadership for it to be effective.
How can we help as you keep an eye on your big rocks and move towards an analytics agenda that aligns with your big rocks? In other words, how can we help you do analytics that actually move the business levers, and create impact by enabling better products and services for your customers? It depends on your organizations’ need.