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Analytics Training Isn’t Enough to Create a Data-Driven Workforce

A common phenomenon with training and workshops is that people leave them excited to put their new knowledge to work—but it never happens. Rather, the things they learned become an anomaly, and they continue with business as usual. This is especially a risk that comes with something as heady as analytics. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Adele Sweetwood discusses how to get employees to truly adopt a data mindset:

  • Form competency centers.
  • Create a leadership and development portal.
  • Build certification into your training.

Continuous Learning with Analytics

Competency centers are about answering “why” questions, the questions that seek to instill purpose and guidance. Sweetwood describes a competency center as a “collection of domain experts who are given a goal to improve agility, foster innovation, establish best practices, provide training (and mentoring), and be a communications engine.” Such centers require a lead, members, and a sponsor in order to run, and the expertise of individuals should relate to the area of focus for the center.

Next, about developing a portal to store and share company knowledge, Sweetwood writes this:

Ask team members to identify their development needs around topics such as digital platforms, analytical and customer journey marketing, industry-specific training, leadership skills, presentation skills, and product training. Then ask them to create a personal development plan. It shouldn’t end there, because as a leader you need to regularly communicate that developing and learning are a priority. Expect team members to not only use the information in the portal but also contribute their expertise and experience to it. Set an expectation that team members regularly review development plans with their managers to instill an understanding that their ongoing development is a collaboration and a shared responsibility.

Lastly, build certification into training as a way to highlight employees’ development and competency in data analytics. Offer basic and advanced certifications, so that everyone can see who knows what and how well at a glance.

For additional thoughts, you can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/08/analytics-training-isnt-enough-to-create-a-data-driven-workforce

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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