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Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics by Bill Franks

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CHAPTER 9

What Makes a Great Analytics Team?

Many organizations struggle with how to structure analytics teams. Unlike human resources or finance departments, there isn’t consistency in where analytic professionals fit in an organization or even the scope of their jobs. As a review, when we discuss analytics in this book, we are referring to things like predictive modeling, data mining, and other advanced analytics work as opposed to reporting and spreadsheet work. When we discuss analytic professionals, we’re discussing the people who do such work. Many companies have different analytic professionals working for different parts of the company, where the problems they are addressing, the methods they are using, and even the kind of training they need are vastly different.

With other disciplines it’s not always so complicated. Typically, human resources will be a centralized organization. Even if there are people assigned to help recruit for different business units, the definition of a recruiter and the job they’re doing is fairly consistent, as are the skills that they need. This isn’t as true in analytics. Imagine the difference between the analytics that an operations department needs opposed to what a merchandising department needs. Or how different the focus of a risk management team is opposed to a marketing team.

This raises some questions. How should an organization structure analytics teams? Where do the teams fit in the organization? What will set the organization up ...

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