Growing Analytics Learning and Development at TELUS Digital

Data Intelligence · Sep 24, 2020

At TELUS Digital, we’re always looking for ways to foster growth and create a safe space for learning within our teams. As a Product Owner for Implementation on the Data Analytics Platform team part of my responsibility is organizing and facilitating analytics understanding and training for team members.  

Our Junior Analytics Development Experience (JADE) program was first conceived out of the need to find analytics talent for both Digital Analyst and Analytics Implementation Prime roles. The program is meant to ramp up participants' knowledge as the month progresses by building off of the previous session’s learnings.  Once the training is completed, we try to understand how to make the experience better for the next cohort. 

TELUS Digital and the JADE program

Throughout the past couple of years, the TELUS Digital team has grown and matured and so has the need for insights about our business.  We strive to be a data-driven company, but we need the right data and insights to truly make this happen. In 2018 before my time at TELUS Digital started, when looking for Senior talent to fill these types of roles it was discovered that the hiring landscape was difficult and highly competitive. It was at this point the team decided to flip the hiring strategy on its head and go after Junior talent and train them on the specific enterprise analytics tools and strategies we use and need. And so JADE was born.

JADE is a dedicated four-week training program designed to teach junior members about our data creation and analytics tools used at TELUS Digital. Through the training, they learn technical skills and grow their business expertise by collaborating with colleagues, leaders, and industry experts.  The program is designed specifically for those who are passionate about analytics, curious about new technologies, and interested in using data to shape the strategy of a large organization.  After the four-week training JADE hires transition to full-time support on one of our Outcome teams where they take on more responsibilities as a Junior Digital Analyst or Junior Analytics Implementation Prime. 

For the program’s curriculum, we have tapped into the wealth of knowledge and expertise within TELUS Digital. We have a mix of both consultants and team members teach the sessions. Buddies are matched with the JADE hires based on the same role and team.  For our latest cohort, we had two buddies assigned, one who had the same role and one who had the same team, to ensure the JADE hires were able to get the information and attention they needed.  Not only does this provide a TELUS Digital specific view on the tools and learnings, but it also allows us to foster growth within our team members with mentorship opportunities. The lifeline of the program relies on the talented team members who dedicated their time to teaching, coaching, and mentoring the JADE hires.  

JADE at a glance

Over a four-week training period, participants spend half to a third of their day in structured sessions.  The remainder of the workday is spent with their assigned buddies, fellow team members, and cohort working to complete homework assignments and better understand their line of business. The program curriculum and flow changes with each iteration, but our latest cohort schedule was the following:

During the first week, the program curriculum starts by building foundational knowledge about our business goals and practices. The first week provides an unique opportunity to meet with Senior Leadership, Technical Leads, and Product Owners (who Juniors might not regularly be exposed to) and are walked through the different portfolios, tools, and business goals. Meeting team members across all teams allows for a deeper understanding and ensures that they’re being exposed to more than just their slice of the business.  

The next 2 and half weeks teaches a broad range of subjects and works to provide a high-level understanding of the multiple tools we use at TELUS Digital.  Subjects like SEO and Privacy and Security for Data collections along with the basic understanding of tools like Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, our unique Personalization API, Decibel, and much more are taught. It is important that both Digital Analysts and Analytic Implementation Primes should have foundational knowledge of how our different data solutions work and integrate together.  

Newly developed and implemented for our latest cohort, during the last week and a half JADE hires split into tracked learning for their specific roles.  This is when deep dives into the specific tools and practices they will need for their day-to-day roles are taught. At this point, Digital Analysts learn how to create more sophisticated reports, visualizations, and dashboards with tools like BigQuery, DataStudio, DOMO, and Adobe Analytics. At the same time, Analytics Implementation Primes learn about implementing tools like Adobe Analytics, Decibel, and Qualtrics for our website or app through our tag manager, Adobe Launch.  

Browser developer tool tabs

How we grow and evolve the program

Our third JADE cohort is when I first got involved in the program. It felt like a natural progression to start facilitating JADE as I was already organizing and facilitating Adobe Analytics training for TELUS Digital. I have the same point of view for program development as the Digital industry we work in; if you’re standing still you’re actually falling behind. The program is meant to reflect the agile nature of the industry we work in and so with each round we make changes and mature the curriculum and flow. 

I always strive to learn from our previous iterations and create an optimal learning experience for participants and teachers based on feedback.  Everyone learns differently so it’s important to create a space where people feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes.  Through retros and anonymized surveys, we collect valuable information about what worked and where we can improve. 

Our fourth JADE cohort ran throughout the month of August 2020 and we introduced multiple learnings from previous cohorts, such as deeper documentation, recorded sessions, tracked learning, and multiple buddies. Since it just wrapped we’ll be running retros shortly before beginning to mold and shape our next round of JADE.  

Want to learn more about JADE? Read the blog post by our first participant or a participant from our second cohort.  

Authored by:
Headshot of Jax Englar, blog post author.
Jacqueline Englar
Product Owner (Implementation)
Jacqueline Englar is the Product Owner for Implementation on the Data Analytic Platform team at TELUS Digital. You can usually find her researching privacy and security or new tracking methodologies, or cooking her favourite family recipes.