The Analytics Advocate Guide

Build analytic excellence in your organization

Organizations that put analytics at the heart of decision making and empower people in all roles with data skills, knowledge and tools are positioned to solve problems faster and maintain an innovative edge.

To develop a culture of analytic excellence, you’ll need a shared vision, constancy of purpose and continual reinforcement. At many organizations, we’ve seen how Analytics Advocates drive analytic adoption and enablement, and promote best practices that, ultimately, increase ROI and drive process improvements through stronger, data-driven business decisions.

That’s where the Analytics Advocate Guide comes in. This guide helps you create alignment throughout your organization to position data as a strategic asset.

It shows you exactly how to build a strong Analytics Advocate program – from initial concept development and team building to socializing analytic successes and addressing objectives. Along the way, JMP will guide and support you, serving as your trusted adviser to achieve that shared vision of success.

What's in it for my organization?

  • Empower all areas of your organization to be data driven.
  • Boost reproducability and get to market faster. 
  • Accelerate digital transformation initiatives.
  • Be known as an analytics leader that retains and attracts top talent.

What's in it for me?

  • Achieve recognition as a change agent in your organization. 
  • Demonstrate value and ROI to key stakeholders. 
  • Develop new skills and benefit from the change you seek.
  • Empower others to perform their own analyses, multiplying the influence of data on decisions. 


Get Buy-In

Build a strong, cross-functional team of Analytic Advocates.


Create a Clear Vision of Success

Identify challenges, build compelling use cases and define metrics of success that clearly align to business objectives.


Analytic Process

Develop a data infrastructure and efficient analytic workflow to ensure success of program.


Educate and Upskill Employees

Supplement or develop key training so that all team members are speaking the same language and are able to derive the value from the data that is shared.


Build Consensus

Socialize analytic successes that embrace data-driven methods and decision making. 


Drive Decisioning at Scale

Democratize data and the analytic process throughout all corners of the organization.

Get Buy-In

Build a cross-functional team of Analytics Advocates

One of the first steps in building an Analytics Advocate program is to establish a core team of people who will help scale the initiative throughout the organization. They will be the voices that amplify the need for analytic maturity. Analytics Advocates should be passionate about promoting data as a strategic asset, educating and empowering the workforce to be more analytically savvy, and fostering collaboration and alignment in all aspects of the business. 

The most successful Analytics Advocate programs are multidisciplinary. They engage people from different areas of the organization – both producers and consumers of data – and include a subject matter expert who can ensure the data is being gathered and analyzed appropriately.  Don't forget to involve:

  • Executives: Consider early executive buy-in to support your team’s vision for organizationwide cultural change and a solid analytic strategy.
  • IT: A critical partner if you are struggling with ease of data access. 
  • Training or HR Department: If education or upskilling is a current challenge.

Key Considerations:

  • Clearly define your purpose, team goals, plans, deadlines and communication plans.
  • Identify roles and designate a team lead. 
  • Create a collaboration space for easy team communication (e.g., set up a Confluence space, Teams or Slack channel).
  • Have regular check-ins to track progress against goals.
  • Host activities, events and meetups to stay engaged.
  • Celebrate and share successes (more below).
Resources and Support:

"I see a clear correlation between my analytic growth and the career opportunities I’ve been afforded." 

Don Kent, Manager

Learn More

Create a Clear Vision of Success

Identify challenges, build use cases and define metrics of success 

Now that your team is in place, where do you begin to make this program a success? First, establish a baseline against which you can measure improvement. Then, focus on a core list of critical tasks that you know you can execute on a regular basis.

A quick win that benefits many people will demonstrate the need for strategic analytics and elevate the credibility of your team. One of the best ways to motivate is to solve a current challenge with a broad impact. Think of problems that, if solved with analytics, will address both a business need and a user need. Start with small, attainable goals that are not just good for one person or one group, but will be in the best interest of the entire organization once they are achieved. 

Key Considerations: 

  • Identify and document your challenges, use cases and metrics of success. 
  • Use business metrics and goals to prioritize data projects.
  • Think wide and broad (not big). Tackle quick wins that will have high visibility and broad impact. Don’t run the risk of not being able to deliver.
  • Pilot use cases.
  • Be vocal and transparent about how your goals and metrics align with the company values and mission. 
  • Look at your annual report to understand stakeholder concerns. For example, what are your R&D or manufacturing risk factors and how can they be improved with analytics? 
  • Don’t be afraid to look externally for inspiration.
Resources and Support

"There are processes to support the application across all domains globally across hundreds and hundreds of teams." 

Alex Pamatat, IT Solutions Manager, Advance Analytics

Learn More

Streamline Your Analytic Process

Develop a data infrastructure and efficient analytic workflow 

So you have the data. How do people get to it? You have tools. Do your people know how to use them? Until your teams have access to the right data at the right time and the skills to analyze that data, your investment is falling far short of its potential.

By developing an efficient analytic workflow - from accessing data to publishing and sharing results - you will help ensure analytic adoption and the success of this program. Streamlined workflows entice and empower others to make analytics central to their work. 

Key Considerations:

  • Audit the data pipeline: Gain a complete understanding of where your data is stored; how it can be accessed; who owns it; barriers for access, governance or permissions; and system requirements.
  • Conduct interviews with subject matter experts to determine which data is important – and which is not. Also ask: What data is missing that would make their jobs easier? What challenges do they have? Where are the bottlenecks?
  • Scale and productionalize your data workflow: Think through how you can make data access easier, especially for routine analyses.
Resources and Support

"We're spending less time on accessing the data, and more on what's really important - decision-making." 

Vasco Cachaco, Principal Six Sigma Process Champion

Learn More

Educate and Upskill Your Employees

Supplement or develop key training programs 

Training plays a critical role in developing an analytics culture that can drive change. Organizations should set their sights on enterprisewide, data-centric collaboration to solve problems - and it takes the right software combined with knowledgeable end-users to facilitate, even encourage, the use of analytics. Statistics education is powerful too - providing a foundation for applying methods effectively. Educated end-users will be more engaged with analytics projects and more likely to turn to data throughout their workflows. Some organizations rely on a centralized statistics group that serves all departments. But we recommend distributing statistical knowledge across the business to scale your ability to solve problems.

Just imagine how much more objective and transparent your organization’s decision making could be with all teams and stakeholders empowered to collaborate with data.

Key Considerations: 

Resources and Support

"I highly recommend STIPS for any organization that wants to enhance and expand their use of statistical tools in solving problems." 

Pete Cannon, Senior Director, Product Quality and Engineering

Learn More

Build Consensus

Socialize analytic successes throughout the organization

Our customers consistently agree: The easiest way to overcome skepticism is to share proofs of concept that demonstrate how new statistical methods have saved your organization time and money.

By documenting and sharing your work across your organization and with leadership, you’ll be an effective advocate for the expansion of proven approaches that can save your organization time and money. And a bonus: You'll also gain recognition as a change agent within your organization. 

Key Considerations: 

  • Maintain one place where anyone can see the value of your program at any time. Then share that project page and/or work dashboard widely. 
  • Take advantage of company channels for sharing projects, like blog posts, the intranet or a weekly newsletter.
  • Give people access to an interactive dashboard that allows them to play with the data and learn at the same time. 
  • Speak up about successes in meetings. 
  • Ask to speak about your program at other teams' meetings, as well. 
Resources and Support

"I've been able to demonstrate to leaders effectively that JMP is something that has a huge benefit." 

Jon Armer, Formulation Lead Senior Scientist
F-star Therapeutics

Learn More

Drive Decisioning at Scale

Democratize data and the analytic process 

Here’s a winning strategy: Give more people access to organizational data and provide them with the competencies to analyze it. When an organization chooses to democratize data, the bottlenecks disappear. The data siloes crumble. Teams start to uphold decisions based on facts, not opinions.  

Ultimately, the culture shifts toward collaborative analytics across business units and job functions. People learn how to get the data they need and how to make sense of it. And that becomes a competitive advantage. 

Sound lofty? Yes. To accomplish this you’ll need a clear, coordinated strategy and focused investment. You’ll need to maintain a laser focus on consistent measurement, continuous improvement, and constant communication around best practices. 

But your data journey will be worthwhile when you see empowered colleagues performing self-service analyses – independently and accurately – broadening the impact of data, guiding new lines of questioning and problem solving, and leaving you with more time for strategic initiatives. 

Key Considerations: 

  • Ask: What teams have a lot of data but are not data savvy? And how can they get the training they need?
  • Identify the teams who typically resist change. Figure out how to help them get a quick data win.
  • Host lunch-and-learns featuring data fundamentals.
  • Document best practices by group. 
Resources and Support

"Once we made analytics more a part of the problem-solving culture, we actually did see problems beginning to subside." 

Julia O'Neill, Founder & Principal Consultant, Direxa and former Director of Engineering

Learn More

Back to Top