December 22, 2011

10th Day of Christmas

The 10th Day of Christmas = Ten Analysts Analyzing

2012 might be the "Year of the Analyst".  And not in the manner of pundit-speak that we frequently read about, either.

Instead, this could be the year that folks realize, "I need somebody whom I can call upon, right now."

Historically, the approach has been one of "hire and train", "overpay and pray", or "outsource and remorse".

Maybe it is time for a different approach.  There's never going to be enough analytical talent available, and from an analyst standpoint, nobody is ever going to pay you enough to cause you to feel valuable.

So try this.  When you have a problem, assign a dollar value to the problem.  Maybe you need to understand what the impact of Cyber Monday was on your business.  You feel like this answer is worth $10,000.  You publicly offer to pay $10,000 to the organization who best answers the question.  You only accept the first five submissions, and you guarantee to pay $10,000 to the answer that best meets your expectations.  You give a deadline, just like you normally would ... you give the public ten days to arrive at an answer.  And if you don't like any of the first five answers, you give the option to offer to make the payment to the next five options.

Oh, and by the way, each submitter gets to see the results of every submission.  If you don't like the first five submissions, you make them public, and you describe why the answers aren't satisfactory.

I know, your legal department hates this, so you won't do it.  Sometimes you have to remind the legal folks who is paying their salary.

Tell me how this can be a bad thing, from a corporate standpoint?  You get somebody to work on your problem.  You get to see at least five different answers to the same problem.  You're only out $10,000.  You're not paying benefits.  You're not forced to give 3% cost-of-living increases.  You're not stuck in a frozen headcount environment.  And you are exposed to potentially smart folks.

Tell me how this can be a bad thing, from an analyst standpoint?  You could be an analyst at Macy's, and then somebody from Best Buy offers $10,000 to solve a problem ... you get to potentially augment your salary, you get to attack different problems, you get to see how you stack up against other individuals.

I'm just saying, maybe it is time to re-think this "I can't hire analyst talent in Western Kentucky" meme.

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