Next level analytics competency – part three

Each company has its own unique culture and this drives how things are done in the organisation. To transform analytics, make sure you are out of your comfort zone – we cannot stick to the same way of doing things as we have done in the past. Make sure innovation is encouraged and incentivised. Support from an executive within the company is also crucial.

Transforming technology is a longer process. Companies have to be open to embracing new technologies and allowing rogue analytics to occur. Forget about governance (to a certain extent, of course) because organisations need to encourage playing around with new technologies and they should not wrap up the process in red tape. Lastly, and good news, the new technologies are not that expensive.

From a capabilities point of view, embrace the online courses available and form strategic partners with vendors, suppliers and universities because these are the people who will assist you in getting the most out of your efforts. Remember to invest time in wasting time – watch YouTube videos, read case studies and keep up to date with industry and global analytics trends.

I believe that every organisation needs an analytics steerco. This committee should be made up of people who are both internal and external to the organisation. There should be an internal executive who chairs the meetings. It is also necessary that all business units are represented in this steerco. From an external point of view, technology vendors, outsourced suppliers as well as students from local universities should be included. With a team of the above individuals, an organisation should quickly be able to identify a strategy of analytics that will target small pockets of work that can prove a concept and show a value add.

Once the steerco is set up, an analytics centre of excellence is needed. This should comprise of people who are passionate about technology and analytics. These people will be responsible for executing the ideas that are put forward by the analytics steerco. This is by no means a full time role, once the analytics strategy is solidified it will, however, warrant the dedicated resources.

To summarise, let’s take a look at the process for an analytics Utopia within an organisation. Firstly, there needs to be an executive heading up the entire process. The analytics steerco is tasked with meeting monthly to determine what questions are going to drive the strategy. The steerco then hands the ideas to the analytics centre of excellence, which executes the ideas and gives feedback to the steerco. If an idea is deemed to be valuable, the centre of excellence hands this to the internal BI/MIS team, which then formalises the new analytics. The BI/MIS team implements the correct data governance, adds it to existing structures and automates the processes with the relevant visualisations. This is then exposed to the business and the cycle starts again.

All of these steps require weekly progress updates, monthly meetings as well as a huge emphasis on change management. Business users need to understand what value the new analytics will bring to the table, when it is going to be implemented and how it will impact the day to day running of the business.

All in all, the conference was successful and I’m sure everyone who was there, took away something from the conference that they could implement within their organisations. We are in an extremely exciting time, with everyone racing to be excellent at analytics and provide a better experience for customers, staff and ultimately, their organisations.

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