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At TSIA, we provide technology and services businesses with the insights they need to grow, advance, and achieve their desired outcomes in our rapidly evolving industry. Our robust data analytics program allows us to capture an accurate view of the state of the tech industry, which we use to provide our members with fact-based research and actionable metrics for improving their operations. To share details about TSIA's benchmarks and industry surveys, as well as provide a behind-the-scenes look at TSIA's data collection and analysis process is Jeremy DalleTezze, TSIA's vice president of Data Analytics Research.
A: I wear two hats at TSIA, the first of which involves our research. Much like our team of research executives, I work closely with members to study emerging trends in the area of consumption analytics. To do this, I run our various industry surveys, write case studies, host webinars and presentations, as well as participate in a lot of inquiries with our members to provide them with the most up-to-date insight in this area and learn which metrics are most important to them.
The second part of my role is around internal operations. I manage TSIA's data analytics team, which we refer to as "the A-Team" (A for analytics in this case!), and together we support our research executives in analyzing benchmark and survey data. This role also extends into providing analytics support for our Member Success team, sales, and marketing.
A: We collect the majority of our data through both our public and members-only industry surveys, which are hosted by each of our researchers for their specific service discipline. First, the A-Team will sit down with the research executive conducting the survey and they will tell us in plain English exactly what data they want to capture. Since our surveys are a way to help our research team test their hypotheses, they'll come up with a list of specific questions, practices, and metrics they'll want to include. We then take their list of questions and tighten them up even further to make sure the data collection process and survey interface is as easy and straight forward as possible for the end user. We try to optimize our surveys so that we collect clean data in a way that enables our researchers to not just report back basic summaries, but do in-depth studies that provide more value back to our members.
Once responses start coming in, we perform a rigorous data cleaning process so that we can quickly detect errors and ask respondents to clarify wherever needed. We use several layers of data validation to ensure that we end up with clean and accurate data. First, the data is automatically validated by our survey software, then the A-Team goes through and validates it to make sure the data is normal given historical patterns and to identify any outliers. Finally, the research executive who is hosting the survey will do the last layer of data validation. As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out,” so we take every step necessary to ensure that only the best and most reliable data goes into our reports.
A: Our research approach is very membership-driven, and these surveys give us a detailed look at what's really happening in the industry so we can provide members with fact-based recommendations for improving their operations and achieving outcomes. Each researcher has their own board of advisors, a group of 6-10 service executives, who tell us what they believe is most important for their specific area of tech. Combine that with the thousands of research inquiries we receive where our members tell us what's most important to them, and we're able to get a clear target of which data we should be capturing that will be the most relevant for our community. When we run a survey, we know it's a timely and valuable topic that our membership is interested in right this very moment, and the results are used in various deliverables including reports, white papers, webinars, etc.
A: Most research organizations collect only basic answers to questions on different practices, but we take it even further and craft our questions so that they tie in with one another, giving us even more detailed information on any given metric. So, for example, instead of, “53% of companies do X,” we find the answer to this but also, “When these companies do X, here's how it affects productivity, etc.” Our aim with our process is to not just focus on the “what,” but also uncover the “why,” as well as identify any correlations between specific responses.
A: TSIA is all about optimization, so we try to automate things as much as possible, including a lot of our internal processes. For example, to make sure our research team is free to dedicate the majority of their time to conducting valuable research and creating customized advice for each of our members, my team automates many of their administrative tasks, such as creating data deliverables and generating graphs. This accelerates the researcher's analysis process and allows them to spend more time identifying and solving specific pain points of each member, which is their specialty. For reference, we've created graphs that work for 1,500 different data points in our benchmarking program alone, so you can imagine the time saved for each researcher.
This is just one of the types of time savers the A-Team has a hand in, and I'm proud to say that my team consists of continual innovators who have a strong desire to find ways to solve people's challenges. If you're able to free up time in someone's day, it's incredibly rewarding.
A: My first professional job was as a senior analyst where I worked with large retail companies to optimize brick and mortar site selection. Basically, I helped them identify the best place to locate a new store in any given area. I also developed algorithms, not just about where to put the new store, but to also configure an entire network of stores in a given geography.
I was also an analytics consultant for at least a decade. In most cases, it wasn't just strategic consulting, but was about getting up close and personal with the data, helping companies from a variety of industries get insight into their data, such as questions around sales, prospecting, risk assessment, etc.
I have a lot of operational experience in deriving insights from data. Before joining TSIA, I was a professor and director of analytics at a private college in Pennsylvania, and I think my academic experience has helped me get better at delivering some of the more advanced topics to a wider audience, which is definitely something that I'm using in my role at TSIA. I like that I can help our members better understand analytics processes and improve their communication skills with data geeks, instead of just saying, “Hire these types of people and invest in this software.”
Contact us today to find out how Jeremy and the rest of TSIA's team of researchers can help you uncover new ways to grow revenue, optimize your operation, and expand your offer portfolio. With hundreds of business frameworks, research reports, resources, and a great team of experts dedicated to uncovering the latest and best ways to succeed in today's market, we have the industry know-how to point you in the right direction to overcoming your top business challenges and achieving the outcomes you're looking for. If you're interested in learning how you can benefit from our extensive body of research, let's talk!
Post Date: September 8, 2016
Jeremy DalleTezze, PhD, is the senior vice president of software development and analytics for TSIA. His professional background includes positions as a senior analyst, analytics consultant, and assistant professor of business, working with both small and large corporations on topics such as revenue forecasting, retail chain optimization, web analytics, text mining, and customer analytics.
Nicole Dornsife is the former senior content manager for TSIA. She has over 10 years of experience writing for the software and SaaS industries, and joined TSIA in 2014. She managed the TSIA blog and regularly collaborated with TSIA's research team and partner companies to publish their insights on the latest news in the technology and services industry. She also provided editorial support for TSIA’s conferences.
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The Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) is dedicated to helping technology and services organizations large and small grow and advance in the technology industry. Find out how you can achieve success, too. Call us at (858) 674-5491 or we can call you.