There are three distinct analytics jobs-to-be-done that occur within the natural cadence of business operations. And, no - these are not creating dashboards or doing a “quick” list pull.
1. React: This analysis mode is the most common workflow in organizations, and can be triggered a few different ways:
- as part of regular business reviews, business teams want to root cause the drivers of KPIs
- a specific variant is to analyze the impact of a specific intervention or experiment across a set of output KPIs
Often resembling fire drills, these reactive analyses are particularly crucial before executive or board meetings.
2. Explore: In this mode, analysis takes on a more open-ended nature, ideally driven by hypotheses to uncover actionable business opportunities. Examples include:
- examining user product behavior to validate or refute hypotheses around new features.
- analyzing business processes to identify areas of friction.
These exploratory endeavors, akin to R&D, frequently yield intriguing insights with varying degrees of actionability.
3. Plan: this can be the most impactful to the business if done well as it shapes strategy and tactics, and can influence where the organization spends their valuable time and energy.
As an example, you could analyze the impact of interventions on low versus high retention segments to guide the growth team’s roadmap. Or, examine if their time is better spent on improving acquisition efforts upstream versus targeting retention rates downstream?
Analytics work that molds strategy, sets metric goals, and aids in selecting tactics stands among the highest ROI endeavors. Regrettably, it is often the least executed, overshadowed by the time-consuming nature of reactive analysis.
Ironically, reactive workflows, being more procedural, can be streamlined and even automated. Establishing metrics, segments, and relationships through concepts like metric trees allows software to take on a substantial role in monitoring, diagnosing, and reacting to business conditions.
This should free up a LOT more time for exploratory and planning-type workflows. In fact, even common planning-type analysis can be streamlined using software.
Looking ahead, I envision a future where technology multiplies productivity by orders of magnitude. This transformation promises the ability to perform React, Explore, and Plan workflows at a significantly higher scale, with fewer resources, and in shorter time frames. The potential to 10x our REPs (React, Explore, Plan) is within reach.