C-suite talk: Advanced analytics

Advanced Analytics

Data and advanced analytics have become the norm in most industries, but many enterprises are still struggling to extract real value from data. Given that the stakes are incredibly high; companies who advance farthest and fastest will have a significant competitive advantage. On the other hand, those who lag will become irrelevant.

Based on several conversations with executives from major companies, there are ten critical insights for business leaders to consider when looking to take their data and analytics to the next level. 

Analytics cannot be the sole responsibility of the chief information officer (CIO)

While the CIO brings expertise, business leaders and CEOs must drive analytics throughout the organisation to accelerate change and ensure intelligent investment.  The CEO understands the business well enough to identify any opportunities and threats to ensure that the company addresses them accordingly.

Data and analytics take the helm

Not only have data and analytics disrupted industries, but they have also caused companies to reconsider business models and value propositions. To capitalise on new opportunities, companies need to look at how other industries have benefited from data and analytics.

When big data and advanced analytics are applied to business problems, analytics can create immense value and yield solutions. By identifying and analysing the data, businesses can create an analytics strategy by understanding where and how they need to play in this data-driven culture.

A comprehensive view of analytics: recognise the value data can bring

Some business leaders struggle to understand the value of analytics and why it matters. This lack of acceptance is detrimental to the organisation’s commitment needed to change. To counteract this, it is essential to identify how new data and techniques could be applied to the business’s existing value chain. Once you have done this, prioritise the economic effect, feasibility, and pace needed to fit with the company.

Getting the right data to analyse

Many businesses struggle to identify what data is needed to increase competitive advantage and therefore miss out on benefiting from data in day-to-day business activities. Fortunately, there are self-serve analytics platforms like Qlik and Microsoft Power BI that offer simple solutions. As data is so vast and continues to proliferate, it is important to have a data strategy and agile principles in place.

The democratisation of data 

Giving as many people in the company access to the data, allows employees to play with ideas and integrates data-driven decision making throughout the organisation. In fact, according to global research by Censuswide and Qlik organisations are losing competitive advantage because better data literacy drives higher enterprise performance. An effective data governance program can ensure that data literacy is improved. Data governance is the strategic management of data activities across the organisation that focuses on building analytics literacy and encouraging productive use of data.

Use Case driven approach

The design of analytics must be user-led and encourage participation from the onset. This is best achieved when structuring the business use-case model. The use case should answer questions like what the business does and what actions the business will take to fulfil the objective.

Real-Time metrics 

Since the value of analytics cannot always be measured in isolation from other initiatives, ensure there is a measurement strategy that logically details metrics in relation to business outcomes. Leading with statistical information will help justify the investment in data, maximise efficiency and ensure effective monitoring of data-related activities.

Establish an analytics centre of excellence 

Establishing an analytics centre of excellence (COE) is a solution that can establish efficient practices, develop accountability needed to capture value, and capitalise on opportunities. The analytics operating model should be in line with the business model so that it leverages successful practices while also supporting the analytics effort.

Talent and skills 

The key is to employ talent who are proficient in both analytics and the business processes, so they can take the numbers, and then utilise them to benefit the business. Rather than seeking out data scientists, recognise business experts who have a quantitative background, the leadership skills required, and the capacity to spur change.

A data-driven culture 

To be an agile business, there must be a data-driven culture with a big vision. The company culture must also encourage employees to find opportunities and generate new ideas and insights without fearing failure. A conducive environment that allows for improvement is where growth occurs. 

Key Takeaways 

Organisations that have not made the most of their data with analytics, and in particular started to make the move to more advanced analytics, must move quickly or they will undoubtedly lose relevance. Commit to the challenge and apply some of the insights mentioned above to transform your enterprise and its performance. If you are a business that needs direction and guidance to cultivate a data-driven culture, get in touch with Inside Info, we’re specialists in data and analytics and can help kickstart your project. Alternatively, this Gartner report on how to build a data-driven enterprise is also useful in creating a plan for data and analytics competency gaps. 
Access Gartner Report

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About the Author: Maria Sall

A storyteller and brand expert, Maria enjoys crafting creative concepts and telling compelling stories that enhance all aspects of brand perception. After all, a good story is at the heart of engaging content, and that is the only way to cut through the noise and capture the attention of audiences.

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