As business leaders, sometimes we will lie will awake thinking about various aspects of our business. But how often are you thinking about whether your game analytics investment is delivering real value?
Over my career I have seen many examples of analytics informing direction and improving the quality of decision making in organizations. I have also seen huge investments in data capability producing a great deal of activity but little insight (especially actionable insight). It’s a wasted opportunity.
With this in mind, here are my reflections on how to make analytics a powerhouse in your organization. It’s not easy, but it pays off.
Look to the future
Too often, analytics turns into a load of boring reports that nobody reads.
Kill reports. Look forward.
The real value of analytics is not in reporting the past, but in thinking about how to improve the future.
Analytics can’t happen in isolation, otherwise you get beautiful and worthy presentations but no actionable information.
There is a natural tendency for analytics guys to get their heads down in the data and forget the business that is orbiting around them. Don’t let this happen. Get your analytics guys to talk to other teams and understand their worries, niggles and concerns.
If the analytics guys understand what’s going on around the business, their insights become more precise and useful.
Figure out your priorities
The best data mining starts with a broad question, like “tell me how to increase retention?”, and then a good analyst refines and refines the question until the facts are revealed.
Challenge your team to uncover truths in the data; debate them, and get inside the player’s mind.
Celebrate curiosity, but don’t lose track of where you started.
Experiment often and thoughtfully
The beta phase is precious, and a successful team uses this time to make mistakes. Success is created from lots of little steps, not big leaps.
Understand that players are different, and get to know how they each respond to adjustments in game play, retention, and monetization strategies.
Get the right tools to do a good job
To be useful, analytics needs to move at the same speed as the rest of the business. It’s no good waiting a couple of hours for a query to run. Iterating quickly is vital so that a ‘train of thought’ can be followed.
Analysts need to respond to issues quickly, so don’t constrain your team. The chase is on!
Make sure you’re up-to-date with deep data capabilities.
Encourage a data dialogue
Lastly, a point on culture.
Analytics is a great enabler of communication – a common currency. Find ways for your business to harness the information coming out of a functioning analytics team and use it to create a dialog between peers.
It’s really worth the attention.
Now get some sleep.