Analytics and Insights Teams: Structures and Roles | ASK Answers | All MKC Content | ANA

Analytics and Insights Teams: Structures and Roles



How can I structure my organization to effectively leverage my analytics team?


Building a successful and efficient marketing analytics team is no easy task, especially now that technology is constantly evolving, making it hard to keep up. Using a variety of tools and approaches when it comes to garnering data, analyzing it, and then creating actionable strategies is a multi-layered process that can elevate a brand's measurement, analytics, creative, and research abilities to engage with consumers at the right time and place.

It's not just about finding the right tools, however, but finding the right team and encouraging failure. Fostering a test and learn culture, and a culture in which team members can take risks, is essential to growth. Learning and being accepting of failure can be even more useful than learning from success, Andy Hasselwander, chief analytics officer at MarketBridge, stressed at an ANA event.

Hasselwander stated, "I think about celebrating failure. There was a time at Google when they would call out people at company town halls and give them prizes for shutting down projects that didn't work. That might be a bit extreme. But culturally, at the company, when someone presents and shows something didn't work, there should be a response like, 'Great, thanks for that insight. We won't do that again.' There's a million things people can do to rationalize a test result into being what they want it to be. It's incumbent upon managers to foster a culture in which that doesn't happen."

Building a strong foundation first, and then advancing analytics, was a major priority for Chipotle according to an ANA event recap. This approach also means companies need to set objectives and KPIs first to understand what to look for and focus on. For many companies, this means investing in AI capabilities to streamline processes and save time, as well as building a strong team that can be relied upon.

Naveen Vijayaraghavan, senior director of marketing insights and analytics at Chipotle, discussed the importance of fostering a strong analytics team, as well as nurturing the relationship between teams, stating, "If you're looking at it from a marketing perspective, the marketers actually lean on their insights and analytics partners to determine what's best for them. As long as you have a high-performing insights and analytics team, I think the marketer doesn't have to wear multiple hats. The insights and analytics team might have to because it's about interpreting the data. As long as you can communicate that interpretation effectively with each individual marketer, you can get the job done."

Below are case studies, brand examples, and best practices for analytics organization structures. 

Trends and Best Practices

  • From Data to Insight: The Outlook for Marketing Analytics. ANA/Winterberry, April 2023.
    The use cases for analytics are expanding across companies and marketing teams, driven by rapid advances in technology, a proliferation of customer touchpoints and a heightened need for faster and better data-driven decision-making. There are significant obstacles to growth, however, as the loss of data identifiers, privacy regulation and entrenched organizational cultures force marketers to innovate in understanding what drives value. These challenges will be overcome as marketing art and science converge, resulting in more widespread use of analytics to innovate how companies identify, understand, and engage with prospects and customers.

    This whitepaper's purpose is to better define the present and future state of marketing analytics. In the process of developing this paper, Winterberry Group surveyed more than 200 marketers from both the US and Europe and conducted in-depth interviews with more than two dozen analytics agency and vendor executives. The result is an evidence-based examination of current and emerging marketing analytics use cases, industry challenges and factors for success as demonstrated by companies that are utilizing analytics most effectively.
  • Insights Practice Report. Greenbook GRIT Report, April 2023.
    The GRIT Insights Practice report provides a comprehensive view of the current state of the insights industry - surfacing critical trends that impact both Buyers and Suppliers. The 2023 edition of the report includes an examination of how evolving roles for insights teams, shifts in technology adoption and investment, and emerging methods for uncovering and synthesizing insights are changing the insights landscape. It is an essential resource for business leaders as well as insights practitioners at all levels of seniority and tenure in their roles. See page 100 of the PDF report for structures and functions of participant insight teams. A similar report from Greenbook on Business & Innovation includes the following chart (page 165):

  • The State of Marketing Analytics — A Roundtable Discussion. ANA, September 2023.
    Over the last ten years, both the scope and depth of marketing analytics have grown rapidly in many organizations. However, as a function, marketing analytics still struggles to prove its value; Gartner points out that marketing analytics still informs only 53 percent of marketing decisions. In an era where economic downturns loom and financial allocations undergo rigorous assessments, teams are under pressure to demonstrate tangible value. MarketBridge chief analytics officer Andy Hasselwander led a panel discussion with Raj Chavali, VP of marketing strategy and analytics at McAfee, Rick Larkin, VP of marketing analytics at SiriusXM, and Lyndsey Stanfill, associate VP of marketing data science at Humana covering marketing analytics teams' biggest challenges — and opportunities.

  • The Seven Functional Building Blocks of Great Marketing Analytics Teams. ANA, February 2023.
    With marketing analytics teams under increasing pressure from CMOs to provide more clarity on difficult metrics like attribution and cross-channel optimization, there are some who believe marketing analytics is facing a looming crisis. In fact, Gartner predicts CFOs will slash marketing analytics teams by 60 percent in 2023 as a recession stresses the bottom line. However, Andy Hasselwander, chief analytics officer at MarketBridge, says there are actions marketing analytics teams can take to stem the potential tide turning against them. At a meeting of the Analytics and Data Science Committee, he shared seven functional capabilities of great analytics teams and reviewed best practices within each of those capabilities.
  • Organizational Benchmark Study. Advertising Research Foundation/Analytics Council, May 2020.
    The ARF, with support from the Analytics Council, released a study that covered a range of topics. Regarding highly desirable skills and preferred techniques for data analysis, the report includes the below charts:



  • How PUMA Achieved Buy-In for Its First-Ever Data Analytics Team. ANA, January 2024. Hermann Hassenstein, senior head of marketing operations for global marketing at PUMA, shared his approach for successfully building out the brand's first-ever data analytics team. He covered some of the hurdles he faced and solutions for overcoming those hurdles, including a look at specific use cases that helped his team build trust and credibility across the organization.

  • From Data to Decision. ANA, September 2022.
    Sarb Dhanjal, director of consumer insights, analytics, and advocacy at Blue Diamond Growers, discussed how she built the company's consumer insights and analytics function from scratch to create a data-driven decision-making culture across the enterprise.
  • Powering Chipotle with Insights and Analytics. ANA, September 2022.
    Naveen Vijayaraghavan, senior director of marketing insights and analytics at Chipotle, shared how the brand developed its marketing insights and analytics team to support all marketing functions, including brand, media, loyalty, and culinary.

The Marketing Knowledge Center actively connects ANA members to the resources they need to be successful. You can visit the ANA website to engage with the MKC in three ways.

  • Explore content to access best practices, case studies, and marketing tools. Our proprietary content includes Event Recaps, which share actionable insights from conference and committee presentations.
  • Connect with our Ask Research Service in real time for customized answers to your specific marketing challenges.
  • Stay on top of trends with Marketing Futures Pulse issues, which explore how new technologies and innovations will affect marketers and consumers alike.

Submit a request to Ask Research Service here.


"Best Practices for Analytics Organizational Structure." ANA, 2024.