I recently pondered the value of a great analyst to a mid-sized public company (revenues around $1-2 billion.) Based on my experience at multiple companies, I estimate the productivity, typical project benefits, and costs of an average, good and great analyst. The differences in the return to a company are staggering with great analysts yielding double the ROI of a good analyst and triple the ROI of an average analyst!
My conservative estimates of analyst project results (annual value to the firm) are $460k for average analysts, $1.2m for good analysts and $3.1m for great analysts!
There are two primary drivers behind the much higher value produced by great analysts (illustrated in the following graph):
- More projects completed per year across all project types- strategic, tactical and day to day questions
- Each project completed will have much higher average value to the company.
From an ROI standpoint, great analysts are an exceptional choice and well worth seeking out.
From a practical standpoint, how do great analysts generate so much more value? They will:
- Connect with the business
- Work on the highest value questions that can be acted upon since they understand and listen to the business
- Think strategically, transforming and streamlining the analytics process over time throughout the company
- Bring in the right tools when needed and dispose of useless tools if supported by management
- Communicate results in a meaningful manner and socialize analytic thinking
- Refine analytic results to maximize the ability of the business to act
- Seek out new possibilities to improve the company via relevant analytics.