Evangelizing An Analyst Relations Program In A Global Enterprise: An Interview with NTT DATA

by Andrew Hsu

August 25, 2022

Case Studies |

Evangelizing An Analyst Relations Program In A Global Enterprise: An Interview with NTT DATA
An Inside Look NTT DATA’s Analyst Relations Program

Junko Hazama of NTT DATA, a Japanese based company, oversees the conglomerate’s Analyst Relations program, leading a team of 15 individual analyst relations managers. To help manage the global program, Junko partners with Corie Pierce, Henrietta Lacey-Gutsell, and Carol Marting. Spotlight had the opportunity to connect with Junko and Corie to understand how they’ve managed AR success in a large organization with diverse needs.

One Team. One Dream. One AR Plan.

Based in Japan, NTT DATA is a global innovator in information technology services and consulting that supports clients in more than 50 countries. Because of the organizational structure of NTT DATA, a challenge for the AR team was to ensure the entire NTT DATA leadership team understood the true value of analyst relations and what it could bring to all business units.

“One of our key challenges was to ensure our leadership supported our AR efforts and we were on the same page. With multiple business lines to serve and a never-ending list of potential analyst reports to be included in, we needed the opportunity to come together and educate our growing company on how AR can best serve NTT DATA.”

Corie Pierce

Junko, in partnership with Corie, Henrietta and Carol, was able to solve this challenge by further demonstrating the value of AR internally through metrics and by sharing insights from analyst engagements to NTT DATA as a whole. With numerous business leaders, multiple conversations were required to explain how AR can serve the business and the benefits of insights from analyst engagements to NTT DATA as a whole. The combination of reporting and education led to clear alignment on needed resources, expectations and prioritizations of the AR team.

“Initially, NTT DATA wasn’t a well-known company outside of Japan. Our leadership was very receptive to the idea of AR, knowing that we are a global company with global clients who often seek advice from analysts, which requires us to be active in the channel.” – Junko Hazama

With leadership committed to the work, Junko and her team were focused on the broader challenge of multiple AR managers, representing various geographies and parts of the portfolio, coming together to support a unified NTT DATA AR program.

First, the entire AR team sat down together to outline the main objectives of NTT DATA’s global AR program. With a diverse portfolio and team spanning the globe, creating a structure of 25 AR-focus topics and establishing ownership of each area of the portfolio was pertinent to their success. Communicating and executing it broadly to all AR channels within the business required thoughtful change management.

“This change required behavioral adjustments. For example, if someone manages Analyst Relations for Applications, that means they now own that topic for the entire company, no matter their business unit. We’ve been much better at this, but it’s something we revisit frequently to ensure we are doing it right. This was a huge process change and trust-building exercise for all of our AR managers.”

Corie Pierce

Right now, the entire NTT DATA AR team meets once a week. This is where all AR managers can talk about specific AR challenges, use cases, and identify best practices for broader education. This regular cadence of touch points and best practice sharing has had a huge impact on the connectedness of the AR team at NTT DATA.

“For better collaboration among stakeholders, Carol initiated and guided the creation of a shared repository for detailed information sharing and tracking. Henrietta proposed an Inter-Cultural Awareness training that covered various communication styles around the globe and helped us learn about cultural differences that have had a positive impact on our collaboration.” – Corie Pierce

“The growth of the AR program is true teamwork. It was not possible without the partnership with Corie, Henrietta, and Carol for the leader’s team, and without the contribution from this entire NTT DATA AR team.” – Junko Hazama

AR Metrics That Matter

With a well-defined AR strategy and clear objectives in place, the team began focusing on measurement. A tried-and-true metric, report inclusion and mentions were the foundation of the program’s reporting. However, the NTT DATA team knew that reporting on these metrics alone would not completely capture their progress in the channel. AR team leaders began exploring how to evolve program metrics to also capture analyst influence.

“We wanted to focus on scaling how we influence analysts. We first focused on the number of interactions, knowing that if we increase the number of engagements, it should have a correlation of influencing their opinion. So, we took the result from our perception audits and scored on six key areas. We related that back to how often we engage with each individual analyst. This is a metric we now call the Analyst Perception Score. Our leadership really valued the new metric as it was more focused on value-add and outcome based.”

Junko Hazama

NTT DATA’s AR team wanted to shift the mindset towards quality over quantity. While it matters that the organization is active in reports and continues to move up and to the right, they shifted focus to ensuring analysts are confident in their recommendation of NTT DATA to their clients.

“This helps how we tell our story of analyst relations back to our leadership. We talk about influence because while inclusion in reports matters, it’s more impactful to understand how analysts are talking about us for the program’s long-term focus.” – Corie Pierce

NTT DATA’s AR program is constantly evolving their metrics. With the Analyst Perception Score and Net Movement Score (measuring how frequently year-over-year they move up and to the right), the team continues to measure the full scope of their work through innovative ways. The team also started to define what the most impactful engagement will be and discussing the method for the new measurement.

Looking ahead, Junko wants to focus more on insights than ever before. Together, they want to create more robust processes that take the analyst insights and can reflect that shared opinion to the entire company.

Spotlight and NTT DATA Growing Together

“We wouldn’t have been able to mature in our journey at the scale we have without Spotlight. The training, templates, perspective, knowledge, it’s all contributed to this foundation that has helped us think about analyst relations. That has all been crucial to the program and the Spotlight partnership continues to evolve with our program.” – Corie Pierce

Spotlight’s involvement extends to having their own relationships with stakeholders and executives. The ability to act as a member of the team is critical in seamless delivery to both analysts and executives.

“We tend to get very focused on the daily work we need to do. Spotlight brings the external view and helps us take a moment to think about the future of our program. Giving us a place to brainstorm, forcing us to be broader in our thinking, helping us mature our processes, this is the value that Spotlight gives us.”

– Junko Hazama

Enjoyed this post? Check out our other interviews with Adobe and ServiceNow. Interested in learning more about Spotlight’s offerings? Contact us today.