Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Building a Banking Data Analytics Team

You can create a data analytics strategy for your bank or credit union’s marketing initiatives, but if you don’t have the right people in place who can execute on the strategy, it won’t go anywhere. This has become a significant challenge for financial marketers, as a McKinsey & Co survey determined that 80% of banks find it difficult to recruit the right analytics talent.

There are a couple of ways to go about finding your analytics champions: 1) revamp your recruitment strategy, or 2) train current employees to take on these new roles. Either way, you’ll want to follow a few critical steps to ensure you build a team that can deliver the results you desire.

Scenario #1: Hiring New Roles

If your marketing team lacks the tech savvy and data prowess you need to take your campaigns to the next level, you should consider looking outside your organization for support. Follow these steps to recruit and retain the right people for the jobs.

1. Determine High Priority Positions

First, you need to know which new roles will fill your marketing team’s biggest tech gaps. Once you’ve identified these positions, rank them in priority order and invest your recruiting time and resources according to that order. Some example positions to consider include:

  • Data Engineer/Architect: These individuals are responsible for building the systems and solutions that house your data. If you’re looking for staff who can establish your data foundation, prioritize this hire.
  • Data Scientist: This person takes the data generated and organized by the engineer/architect and prepares or analyzes it, often using machine learning algorithms. However, this role does not have to be an AI expert to perform effective analysis. 
  • Digital Marketing Specialist: This individual applies data analytics to strategic marketing campaigns, employing tactics such as marketing automation, search engine marketing (SEM), and social media. 

2. Look Outside Financial Services

Adding top analytics talent to your team will likely require you to recruit from outside financial services. A 2018 Codigo survey found “experience in the financial industry” was the lowest ranked skill financial marketers hire for. Data analytics expertise traverses every industry, so focus more on the candidates’ general technical knowledge rather than their familiarity with bank and credit union analytics, in particular.

Test CTA3. Clearly Outline Responsibilities

Gather input from your IT and marketing leads about specific responsibilities the new hires can expect to take on. Create detailed job descriptions with this information and incorporate it into recruitment campaigns. This messaging needs to align with the actual day-to-day job activity, so new hires are not surprised by the work they’re given. This is especially important given the wide range of data tools on the market, and varying levels of analysis conducted.

4. Provide Comprehensive On-boarding

First impressions are everything for new employees. Your on-boarding program should provide a complete overview of your organization and include team members across all departments who will regularly collaborate with the new hires. Make your data analytics goals and priorities known from the get-go, so these employees have clear direction where to focus their efforts and feel encouraged and valued for their expertise. This sets the tone for the remainder of their tenure with your bank or credit union analytics team.

Scenario #2: Deputizing Existing Staff

In a Financial Brand webinar, Glen Sewell, Global Practice Director — Analytics, for Datawatch Angoss said that because data scientists are in short supply, many organizations have asked their business analysts to become “citizen data scientists” and develop a basic understanding of data analytics. 

By encouraging more employees to adopt an analytics mindset, you’ll create an environment where data-driven decision making is the standard, and teams approach programs and projects from an analytical stance. 

If you determine you need data analytics support beyond “citizen data scientists,” you may consider transitioning existing employees into full-time analytics roles at your bank or credit union. Here are a few steps to help you do so effectively.

1. Identify Data-Driven Team Members

As your company culture shifts its focus to data analytics, you’ll find some employees have a stronger affinity for data than others. These individuals can be your data champions if given the right opportunity to grow their skillsets. Take the time to assess both your marketing and IT teams for data standouts, and loop them into your recruiting efforts.

2. Clearly Outline Responsibilities

The McKinsey survey found that only 14% of stakeholders report their teams of data scientists, architects, and engineers have been assigned clear responsibilities. That’s a big problem, especially when staff members are transitioning from one area of the business to another. Just as you create detailed job descriptions for new employees, do the same for your employees in transition. That way they have a clear understanding of what comes with the change and can decide for themselves if they want to pursue the new role.

3. Gain Buy-In

It’s important to gain buy-in on the job transition from the individual employee and all departments impacted by the transition. Make sure the new analytics role aligns with the employee’s desired career path, builds on their strengths, and provides opportunities for growth. Additionally, confirm that the employee can either maintain their previous job responsibilities, or there are other team members who can handle them moving forward. This ensures the transition works for everyone.

4. Facilitate Initial and Ongoing Training

When you decide to build your marketing data analytics team with existing staff, it is your responsibility to provide the necessary training for individuals to succeed in their new roles. This includes initial on-boarding sessions, technical workshops, and continuing education opportunities around data analytics in banking. Whether you create your own programs, or fund employee participation in industry courses, your team needs this information to grow their skills and generate positive results with analytics.

Collaboration is Key

A recent research report from Forrester found that only 12% of B2B company global marketing decision makers feel that CMOs and CIOs are strategic partners in developing technology-driven solutions for their business. That’s why whether you hire from the outside or appoint current staff members to new analytics roles, you need to prioritize collaboration between IT and marketing departments.

Often, this means having people in your organization who can serve as “translators,” ensuring clear communication between the business units and IT. These individuals understand both business problems and analytics insights and help both sides work together to drive results.

The First Step toward Data Analytics Success

A successful bank or credit union analytics program depends not only on the team executing it, but also the technology behind it. That’s where 360 View comes in. Our growth platform provides analytical intelligence to drive targeted marketing campaigns. Learn how to get the most out of CRM analytics by contacting our team or downloading our latest white paper, “A Practical Guide to Data Analytics in Banking.”

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