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Business Intelligence Careers

Hire or Train...what’s the best fit for your analytics team?

5 min readView all articles
By Jason Russo
May 18, 2021

Problem: There is too much for your team to get done...you have the budget to do something about it but you aren't sure if you should hire new people, train your current people, or maybe both. HELP!

This article will help you uncover what solution makes the most sense for you and get you on your way to a happier and more effective team.

Don't assume that having a bigger team is always the answer to your problems. Sometimes increasing the skill level of your current team is actually the best approach.

If you can do both...do both. Bigger + Better = Best (usually)

But keep in mind that small, highly skilled teams are sometimes the best solution for some situations and larger teams are needed for others. For example the military has small elite teams of special forces for certain missions, along with larger units for other missions. The key is determining what you need to solve for and then finding the right solution.

OK, this is starting to make sense...but what about your issue: should you hire or train or do both?

Solution: Here's a framework that will help you identify the solution that's right for you

Follow these steps and take notes on the answers to the questions below.

1. Evaluate the root cause of your situation. What is being asked of your team and where the pain is coming from:

  • Volume: Is it really too much work? Is it the sheer volume of work that is simply too much?
  • Complexity: Is the work too hard and/or require intricate understanding of the business or require collaboration beyond your team?
  • Speed/Pace: Are the cycles and cadence of the work realistic. Are there tasks that can be automated, or done in parallel by multiple resources? Would someone with a higher skill level be able to do it faster?

2. Determine clear requirements for what you need to solve:

  • Ability and Skill Level: Assess your current staff and their skills related to the work required. Are they proficient at the skills, and tools that the work requires? Would more advanced skills like DAX and MySQL be a game changer here?
  • Bandwidth: Are there techniques or skills that would save time? Is there automation that can save time? Or is this a more people situation?
  • Tools and Technology: Does your team have the tools they need to succeed? Would implementing a tool like Power BI or Tableau make things more efficient and effective?
  • Process & Management: Are you working smart and in an organized manner? Do people on your team have clear guidance and processes to follow? Is there support available when your team gets stuck?

If you answered the above questions honestly and with a good understanding of the facts then you have what you need to move forward.

From steps 1 and 2 you should have a better understanding of the root causes and items that you need to solve...now take a deep breath and move to step 3 below.

3. Seek a solution aimed at your specific problems: Based on your findings above, here are some ways to determine if hiring, training or both is the right solution for you. Check the lists below to see whether hiring or training or both is likely the best course of action for you:

If your answers are included in this list...then it's probably HIRE:

  • The work isn’t too hard, there is just too much of it
  • Even if you automated some tasks, the deadlines and turn around times are too fast to keep up without more people
  • Even an analytics Ninja wouldn’t be able to do things faster or fast enough
  • You have the right tools and people that know how to use them, but you still can’t keep up
  • You have processes, training and support to keep your team on track, but they are still drowning in work
  • Your team has their expert certifications in the tools you use (Excel, Power BI, Tableau, etc) but deadlines are still hard to hit

If your answers are included in this list...then it's probably TRAIN:

  • You know people could be faster at what they do, but not sure how to make that happen
  • Your team does the best they can with what they know how to do, but if you had Excel or Power BI Ninja’s you’d be golden
  • Automation and advanced methods would probably save time, but nobody on your team knows how to do that stuff
  • You think your team knows the tools well, but you haven’t done an assessment, training or certification
  • People figure things out as they go, there isn’t a set process for people to follow
  • You don’t have the right tools, you know things could be done better, but if you get new tools who would know how to use them
  • If we got new tools or set up new processes how would we support them when people get stuck

If your answers included items from both lists...then it's probably HIRE + TRAIN:

If your answers were mixed between both lists above it means you could benefit from hiring and training.

When in doubt, start with training.

Training benefits everyone. It makes your current team better, more productive, and ultimately improves efficiency and effectiveness of the team you already have in place. These are the people that you and your company depend on every day...imagine the multiplier of improvement if your entire existing team starts and continues to get better at what they do.

If you do decide to hire...remember that the best results come to teams that do both of these items well:

  • Have a solid onboarding and skills training process
  • Are constantly improving the ability of each member of the team with annual learning development plans

Technology is moving all around you and your team. Having a learning plan keeps your team moving forward and sets you up for long term success.

Training existing team members along with the new members you are onboarding makes everyone more consistent and versatile, and increases the success that new hires will have on your team.

Guided learning makes Maven unique and affordable. Depending on the size of your team the total cost ranges between $30 and $40 dollars per user per month. Larger teams may see an even greater discount.

If you are ready to learn more about team training let’s connect for a meeting, or you can explore some of our other resources to learn more:

Still unsure? Book a 15-minute discovery call with me here to see if Maven is the right fit for your team!


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Jason Russo

Jason has 20+ years of experience leading successful teams, and has delivered results for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Jason founded and bootstrapped his previous company to a successful acquisition before joining Maven in 2019 to help lead the next phase of growth.

Jason has 20+ years of experience leading successful teams, and has delivered results for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Jason founded and bootstrapped his previous company to a successful acquisition before joining Maven in 2019 to help lead the next phase of growth.

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