I. Identify the question. In a non intrusive way, help your business partner identify the critical business question(s) he or she needs help in answering. Then set a clear expectation of the time and the work involved to get an answer.
M. Master the data.This is the analyst’s sweet spot—assemble, analyze, and synthesize all available information that will help in answering the critical business question. Create simple and clear visual presentations (charts, graphs, tables, interactive data environments, and so on) of that data that are easy to comprehend.
P. Provide the meaning. Articulate clear and concise interpretations of the data and visuals in the context of the critical business questions that were identified.
A. Actionable recommendations. Provide thoughtful business recommendations based on your interpretation of the data. Even if they are off-base, it’s easier to react to a suggestion that to generate one. Where possible, tie a rough dollar figure to any revenue improvements or cost savings associated with your recommendations.
C. Communicate insights. Focus on a multi-pronged communication strategy that will get your insights as far and as wide into the organization as possible. Maybe it’s in the form of an interactive tool others can use, a recorded WebEx of your insights, a lunch and learn, or even just a thoughtful executive memo that can be passed around.
T. Track outcomes. Set up a way to track the impact of your insights. Make sure there is future follow-up with your business partners on the outcome of any actions. What was done, what was the impact, and what are the new critical questions that need your help as a result?