WE Communications senior vp of analytics Geoffrey Sidari says that one of the top things that analytics can provide for communicators is a "single source of truth."

That single source of truth, Sidari says, provides both consistency and clarity. "From a consistency standpoint," he tells Doug Simon, it means that "every time you go back to the data, you're able to tell the same story over time." When it comes to clarity, it keeps commmnicators from "jumping around from tool to tool, trying to get the best metric."

The result, he says, allows both WE's analytics team and its clients to "understand the data faster and ask more advanced questions as they become more in tune with the data they're given."

Sidari stress that analytics are always at the service of the questions that communicators need to answer. "If you take the data and the tool out of the equation and you focus on what is the objective," he says,"what is the question, what is the analysis that they're looking to get out?"

He also says that companies need to invest the necessary time and effort in getting the most out of their analytics tools. "I think the most important piece is making sure you have an individual or a team of individuals dedicated and spending the time in the tool, understanding the features that are available, the support that's available, and the ability to train on the tool to get the most value out of it."

Turning the results of your analysis into guidance is another topic that comes up. "I would say the majority of our strategy revolves around understanding who is our client trying to sell to," he says. "And then really understanding how that audience engaging is in that conversation."

Sidari points out improving data integration, handling the expansion of AI and working to connect comms data to marketing data as three key area that analytics will need to focus on in the future.

He also says that while the scope of analytics will continue to expand beyond specialists, the need for that specalized expertise will remain. "The tools and the vendors themselves are ensuring that non-technical users can get more out of the data," he tells Simon, "but when you want to go deep and really build strong strategy, you need to spend that time in the system and maybe be a bit more technical."

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.