Going into a new organisation as a digital analyst can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to get your hands on. With a multitude of tools, tracking implementation techniques and nuances, it’s going to take a while to sift through it all. But I recommend taking a step back before going into all that detail; remember, you need to make sure that you’re aligning your analytics function to the organisation and meeting business needs. I made a list (in a chronological order I believe to be helpful) of the things to work through when you start in a new analytics team.

I’ll talk in more detail about some of these things in future posts.

1. Understand the organisational strategy, marketing strategy and digital strategy

Make sure you fully understand what it is everyone’s trying to achieve. How can you know what to measure and how best to measure otherwise?

2. Digital architecture

Ideally you’ll have an architecture diagram of all the products (i.e. website, mobile applications, online communities) and channels (i.e. social, email, search products used) and any other related technical infrastructure including CRM systems, tag management products etc. If not, I suggest you create one. A pretty picture of it all makes it easy to understand – but make sure it’s pretty.

3. Get to know your products, channels and audiences

Now that you know what you’ve got, it’s time to snoop around. For example, with your website, you’ll want to understand the site structure and conversion funnels. It’s also important that you understand your audience segments – a detailed ‘audience groups’ project might be useful (but perhaps later down the line).

4. Stakeholder mapping & engagement

Map all the people who your team interacts with. Engage with them, get to know them and divide them into different groups – such as customers to the analytics team or suppliers or whatever.

5. Requirements gathering

Now that you know who your stakeholders are, you need to know what they want. Gather their requirements!

6. Measurement frameworks & KPIs

You can now start to figure out what it is you need to measure in order to help teams make data-driven decisions to improve performance. Select a measurement framework and define those Key Performance Indicators!

7. Sources of data

Now that you know what you’re going to measure, you need to figure out where that data is coming from. You may need to look into new tools that aren’t already in your digital architecture diagram!

8. Internal & competitor benchmarking

You might know what to measure but how will you know if the results are any good? Benchmarks! Look at past performance and look into how the wider industry performs.

9. Define analytics services

Based on what you know stakeholders want, your resource capacity and budgets, you can start to define the services that your team will provide. You could even define Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

10. Analytics roadmap (or backlog)

Hopefully your team will have a few ideas as to how you might better improve the analytics function – don’t remain stagnant doing the same things; digital analytics is a dynamic area of work and there’s always new ways to do it better. Build a roadmap of things you want to do, or be Agile and create a backlog.

11. Skills development plan

You’re important too! You’re the brains behind the whole operation! And that brain needs feeding. Based on the organisation’s requirements, your team’s services and your own career development needs, plan training requirements.

12. Team processes and RACI

Business Process Mapping is a great way to help ensure consistency and that you’re doing things in the most efficient way. Develop Business Process Mapping Documentation (BPMD) and create a RACI so that you know exactly who is doing what.

13. Tool implementation

Now it’s time for some detail. Get to grips with how your digital analytics tools are implemented across your products and channels. Are you using the CMS or tag management for the website? Is everything implemented correctly as per best-practice?

14. Tracking implementation

You’ll also need to get to grips with the custom tracking that already exists and anything new that needs to be set up. With so many different tools and ways of setting things up, I would cross my fingers that whoever was doing it before knew what they were doing.

15. Regular reporting

Define your templates, dashboards and so on to streamline your regular reporting. This is the boring part of the analyst role, so the more automation the better.

16. Project/campaign reporting

Define your templates, dashboards and so on to streamline your campaign/project reporting. You’ll need to do a mini objectives/requirements piece at the start of the campaign/project.

17. Stakeholder training

This might be something that you do later down the line, but if your processes and RACI work has other teams doing some self-service analytics then this is vital. As I said above, reporting is boring. Ideally teams should do their own reporting (and maybe even analysis) – let’s be honest, they are closest to the customer or project. Using tools like Tableau or Microsoft Power Bi you can empower teams. But data in the wrong hands is dangerous so it’s vital that you provide the right knowledge and skills to everyone. The digital analytics function is responsible for ensuring digital data is used effectively across the organisation.


If you think there’s more that could be added to the list above, please comment!

If you’d like assistance in any of the above, I do freelance digital analytics work – contact me using the CONTACT page.