Building Digital Analytics Capabilities in a B2B World

The final Pecha Kucha talk of the conference was delivered by Chuck Hermann, Director of Digital Analytics at Intel, who gave the audience a rundown of what it’s really like to build a Digital Analytics platform and team for a Fortune 50 company. In 2014, Hemann was asked to join the Intel team to begin a new department and transition the company from the B2C to the B2B world. Hemann covered the life cycle of this project over the course of the last two years, addressing three specific focus areas for those who may be undertaking similar projects in the future:

  • “Where did we start and what did we learn?” Two years ago, not only was there no Digital Analytics team to speak of at Intel, but their digital measurement framework was also extremely elementary for what they were trying to accomplish: one based on clicks, but not on attitudes. Internal reports were rarely consumed–most people weren’t even aware they existed. When Hemann arrived and began his work, he immediately hired senior-level talent with a wide range of skills to hit the ground running. Even with a high-caliber team with plenty of experience, he noted that changing a measurement framework is at least a 6-9 month process, and that’s if it’s all done well, start to finish. Another note of importance: what is effective in the B2C space is not always effective–or sometimes ever effective–in the B2B space.
  • “Where are we now and what are we learning?” Hemann maintained that the long-term vision of the team and of the company was not to build a system that would transcend the ages–they wanted to keep in mind the elasticity needed for new tools and new methodologies to be created. This vision was and is critical: without a vision, and without a mission, there is very little starting ground of which to speak. Hemann and his team had to determine what they wanted from their project (to enable Intel to become a best-in-class data-driven global marketing organization), as well as how they would achieve it (deliver relevant and timely insights to stakeholders using future-ready tools). Hemann noted that tools, however, are only ⅓ of the equation for success: without the right people and the right processes, the vision and the mission cannot be realized.
  • “Where are we going and what do we hope to learn?” Once mission and vision are established, benchmarks for success are necessary to determine how far a team has come and how far they have yet to go. Hemann’s team created not just one objective, but three separate objectives that would serve as checkpoints or progressive phases for a roadmap to future success: 1) expand scope, 2) communicate, educate, and deliver insights, and 3) establish a governance framework. Hemann emphasized that without a proper governance framework, no actions will be effective enough to achieve the desired objectives.


Overall, Hemann’s insights from the perspective of a Fortune 50 company were especially valuable to conference-attendees who may be struggling to determine if their own company’s digital analytics journey is headed in the right direction. His final takeaways for attendees were beneficial as general philosophies for anyone inside of the digital space: make collaboration a primary focus, and be patient. Rome was not built in a day, Facebook did not become a behemoth in a year, and building a department from the ground up–particularly when the premise of the department remains uncertain for the future–means to collaborate early, often, and over long periods of time to make it right.

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