Analytics team structure

The reason to have structure in your team is to be clear about:
Who does what?
Who decides what?

Deciding the structure of your team will help with successful hiring since it will be clear to candidates who you want and need for your open roles. Or if you already have team members that you are bringing together from different functions into a consolidated team, shaping the team structure to strike the balance between what you have and what you need in the future is a great place to start.

Structure can sometimes mean hierarchy with senior and junior members of the team. There needs to be clarity of who reports to whom for their performance review, who provides managerial support and one to one feedback and coaching, and who is accountable for work delivered. Where delivery is structured enough to support it, I highly recommend working together to produce a RACI document assigning who is to be Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed about each aspect of work to be done. This gives a framework that can be referenced when confirming who makes decisions and receives escalation of issues.

The remit of individual team members is what clarifies who does what. This needs to evolve over time as people develop their roles and needs to be somewhat flexible to changing priorities in the team’s delivery. However, at any one point in time team members should be clear about their own remit – what their individual responsibilities are and are not, how they contribute to the overall work of the team and how their role relates to others.

Remits can be categorised in different ways. You could have a team of all-rounders who each work fairly independently on one business domain. I’ve worked with senior analysts who each have primary stakeholders in one part of the business and each work on all aspects of gathering requirements, building datasets, creating data visualisations and communicating insights. Or you could have a team where individuals specialise on a type of work and work closely together on projects.

In teams bringing together multiple disciplines, there will necessarily be multiple opinions and ways of doing things. Clarity of structure and remit helps teams to navigate the tensions that might arise by providing some framework to refer to. This helps establish confidence and ownership and team members feel confident making decisions and implementing work independently as well as together. As ever the trick is to have enough structure to help things work well, but not so much that processes feel like hard work.

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