Good Analytics Goals Aren’t Focused on Features: Turning Goals Into Values

Good Analytics Goals Aren’t Focused on Features: Turning Goals Into Values
Jim Rushton

The following is adapted from Guaranteed Analytics.

When you set up an analytics program for your business, you need to define goals. Without knowing where you want to be, how will you start to take steps towards your destination?

But when defining your goals, you want to make sure you’re not focusing on features. Instead, your goals should be value-driven. Value-driven goals are more specific and tied to questions you need answered or outcomes you desire for your business. Here are some essential tips to help you make the mindset shift.

Know the Difference Between Features and Values

Before you can create value-based goals for your company, you need to understand the difference between features and values because the two are often confused. People in sales and advertising are often excellent at understanding this crucial difference and use it to get people to buy products and services.

Let’s look at some examples. You’re selling cars and touting a model that gets great gas mileage. That’s wonderful, but it’s only a feature. However, by talking about the effect of mileage on the environment or how much it money it will save for the vehicle owner, you’ve changed the dialogue to values.

Similarly, discussing a well-crafted timepiece is sticking to features. But start discussing how it’s an heirloom piece that can go from father to son, and you’re now in a value-based conversation.

Turn Goals Into Value Statements

Your analytics goals need to be likewise shifted from features to values. Let’s say your initial goal with your analytics program is to create the best data reports for marketing ever in the history of your company. While that might sound great initially, it’s actually too vague, without measurable markers for attainability, and the focus is still on features.

To change the statement to one that is value-driven, first ask what you want to get out of those reports. You might decide you want your employees to have a more efficient work timeline, so they don’t have to work so much overtime and can spend more time with their families and on their hobbies.

So, your new goal becomes: improve employees’ lives and reduce churn by providing them with reports that allow them to do their job more effectively. When you look at the second statement, it has much more purpose behind it.

Another change along the same lines might be to get rid of a goal like “deploy a self-service reporting portal.” You could replace it with “reduce 80 percent of the analysts’ time spent assembling data, so that they can spend more time on strategic decision-making.”

Develop a List of Opportunities

Sometimes to help develop those value-driven goals, it’s wise to create a list of related opportunities to go hand-in-hand with your analytics. Let’s imagine you’re interested in reducing employee churn by increasing employee satisfaction.

Your opportunities to help you accomplish this might include reaching out at set intervals to make employees feel valued, giving employees gifts and perks, or providing family-inclusive events.

By focusing on your goals and creating clear, attainable value statements, you will be empowered to take ownership of that effort and drive results within your company. Once these goals and values are defined, you can begin to get into the specifics of execution.

For more advice on creating value-driven business goals, you can find Guaranteed Analytics on Amazon.

Jim Rushton began his career in analytics working with some of the biggest consulting companies in the world, including Accenture, Deloitte Consulting, and IBM Global Services. Jim then moved to an executive position with Verizon, where he oversaw the company’s customer and marketing information. Leveraging his experience across corporate America, he helped found Armeta Analytics, and in the past decade, his team has helped dozens of Fortune 1000 companies learn how to monetize their data.

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