Swap-a-meeting

Give this one a try before the week’s out. Find a meeting on your calendar either for today or tomorrow that looks like it’s going to be really boring and pointless. Cancel it.

Take that same block of time and re-schedule it with someone you don’t normally talk to. A lot of people’s calendars may already be packed, but find the first person you can in product development, marketing, IT, SEO, BI, the call center, or even the CEO, if you can get in the door. Just ask for some time to get a “refresher” from them to be sure you’re up to speed on what’s happening in their work lives. No more than 15 minutes of their time (but let them ramble for the whole time block, if they want to) is needed, and you’ll walk out with a fresh and different perspective than the ones you’ve been hearing day in and day out.

The good analytics person needs to constantly be refreshing their perspective and understanding where other people are coming from, especially when there are politics and differing opinions/goals/incentives involved. You’ll be able to understand what went into decisions so you can help untangle them and make the organization operate more effectively in the future.

So swap that meeting this week and report back how it goes. It could be great, or it could be frustrating or put you on defense to hear this new perspective. But it’s good for you.

Bonus:

Another part of this exercise is you taking back control of your calendar. Most web analytics people have a lot more to offer the company than the company has to offer them (otherwise your paycheck would be ROI-negative), but the way we participate in meetings, you wouldn’t think so.

Learn to say no to meetings you’ve been scooped into to provide data, or insist that you have a presenting role instead of a support role so you can talk about your findings and analysis. You are not a garden hoe; don’t get treated like one.