The sports industry has been migrating to an analytics-based model to assist in making critical business decisions. So an easy assumption might be that every major league team has a robust data and analytics department. But that assumption is wrong.
A recent webinar attended by sports professionals from four continents, including every major league in North America, showed some interesting results. An audience poll revealed the following about their business intelligence department:
- Only 7% have 6 or more employees
- Only 32% have 3 to 5 employees
- 20% have 1 to 2 employees
- 20% don’t have a department yet, but their team is planning to build one
So there’s a lot of work to be done in creating not just a data and analytics team, but also a dream team.
Three experts in the field offered their tips on how to start and build your team. These three Vice Presidents of Business Intelligence included:
- Laura Meyer, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
- Kevin O’Toole, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Jeremy Short, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (parent company of the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, MLS Colorado Rapids and National Lacrosse League Colorado Mammoth)
These experts offered the following six tips for finding the ideal people to staff your business intelligence team.
- Take the time to find the right people.
Make sure their talent matches with the software and tools your department is using.
- Always be recruiting or networking.
Stay in touch with local counterparts as a way to offer growth opportunities.
- Find a balance of skills and experience.
Since this is a non-traditional hire in sports, look for people with backgrounds in economics, statistics, math and engineering. And for people with at least some experience or who have come through an internship program.
- Find a balance of people from the sports industry and other industries.
You need to decide if you’re looking for people with knowledge of the sports industry or knowledge of the tool sets. The ideal scenario is to have a combination of both.
- Choose people who can be flexible.
When starting out, find people who can fulfill a hybrid role and adapt to the changing work requests, rather than focusing exclusively on CRM or strategy and analysis. You don’t know which departments in your team are going to have more requests, so your staff has to be flexible. As the business intelligence department grows, staff members can focus more on specific roles.
- Focus on communication skills.
Find people who can effectively communicate the results of the analyses to the decision makers. Data that tells a story aids in decision-making. Data without proper context can lead to poor decision-making.
Once your initial staff is in place, three other factors will contribute to your business intelligence success.
- Make sure everyone across the organization in every department understands the overall data management strategy.
It can be difficult if there are expectations of a newly formed department and the resources aren’t there to support it.
- An effective business intelligence team should spend the majority of their time on analysis, not on reporting.
Create an automated reporting system to free up the business intelligence staff to do analyses.
- Focus on small quantifiable wins before attacking larger budget items.
Show a solid ROI to build trust from senior management. Then you can take on other initiatives and obtain more resources.
If you’re looking for an innovative customer relationship management and business management system that drives sales, streamlines business processes and takes profitability to a new level, you’ll want to check out the programs offered by KORE Software.
Learn more at www.KORESoftware.com.