Julie Sciullo - Feb 23, 2018

Your Association Needs An Analytics Translator

If you have a data analytics team or you are in the process of forming one, the analytics translator is a role to consider hiring for. This individual plays a critical role on that team and at your organization. She or he serves as the link between the analytics team and the executive team because this individual takes the information from the data team and translates it on a broader scope, so stakeholders can see how analytics impacts the organization.

Think of the analytics translator akin to a marketing operations manager at a B2B or B2C company. A marketing operations person is a subject matter expert on marketing technology solutions and typically works very closely with the executive teams. That individual also oversees the implementation of a marketing automation system, the data, and the processes to support the organization. A person in this role also works with the demand generation team to support any campaigns they want to execute and provides the metrics and reporting. She or he has both qualitative and analytical skills and possesses superb communication and project management skills to be successful in their role.

So, what does an analytics translator do then? According to Mckinesy and Company, someone in this role “communicates data science features and capabilities to internal and external stakeholders in order to identify business needs and uncover areas in need of deeper data exploration.”

Ideally, an analytics translator possesses the technical fluency in analytics, strong project management and communications skills, and a keen interest in staying current with industry trends.

Now you might be thinking that your data analytics team already has many of these skills, but the analytics translator is truly a unique role that an organization benefits from having. Here are 3 reasons your association needs to bring an analytics translator on staff.

1. Help demonstrate how analytics solves business problems

Analytics continues to play an instrumental role at organizations because it helps staff members make data-guided decisions to help them better align with their overall organization’s goals. Sometimes one person (such as a data analyst) alone cannot convince their executive board that a data analytics platform is a worthwhile investment. In some cases, it takes someone such as an analytics translator to convey the need to purchase an analytics tool because this person has the expertise to communicate how it can truly solve your organization’s challenges in an easy-to-understand way.

Let’s say your organization already has an analytics platform, but your organization’s stakeholders still don’t understand the value of it. That’s where an analytics translator can also help. An analytics translator is in a unique position where she or he can demonstrate the power of data analytics by identifying where it solves a business need. Once this individual discovers an area of opportunity, she or he works with the analytics team who then creates data models that show where the problem is and how best to resolve it. The translator might offer suggestions on adjusting the model so that it produces actionable insights that their executive team can easily interpret. Once the model is complete, this person ensures it’s the final product before delivering it over to the executive team to review.

2. Function as a Project Manager

One of the attributes an analytics translator must posses is excellent project manager skills. In the association world, this individual can operate as an “internal” project manager. She or he serves as a go-between the business leaders and the data analytics team ensuring that an analytics project is successfully executed from start to finish. This individual also can communicate the project’s progress in a digestible way to different team members at the company. If the stakeholders want changes to the project, then they work with the analytics translator who then relays those changes to the analytics team. The analytics translator helps to bridge that gap that exists between those who are a part of the data team and the executive team, so each side is better aligned with one another.

3. Assist in implementing solutions

An analytics translator serves as an advocate for adopting new solutions at your organization. One of the challenges your organization might face is some staff members hesitation in incorporating analytics into their roles. Shifting to a data-guided mindset is intimidating if your team isn’t accustomed to thinking in that manner. Also, sometimes company politics are a roadblock when attempting to implement a new tool or project across the organization. The analytics translator has the potential to champion the need to use analytics or needs to possess the grit to “fight” that battle because there will be people who are less enthusiastic to the notion.

If the resistance to adopt to new technology or start a new project exists in your organization, don’t feel as if you’re the only one experiencing that. It’s more common than you realize. That’s why it’s essential to have people such as an analytics translator to work as the driving force in implementing new solutions at your organization.

What if there's budget constraints?

Even if an analytics translator isn’t a role you can fill at this time due to budget constraints, it’s a great position to keep in mind for the future. If hiring someone for that position isn’t possible though, then consider delegating the responsibilities to your data analytics team. It’s likely there’s someone on that team that possess some of these skills, so it’s just a matter of honing them and shifting their responsibilities around. Sometimes this is a better option because this person is already familiar with the company, processes, and data. And remember, an analytics translator doesn’t have to be a data scientist to be successful in this role.

Need help?

Contact us at info@AssociationAnalytics.com or (800) 920-9739 to explore if the Analytics Translator role is right for your association.

Written by Julie Sciullo