The new analytics world order has turned business analytics and data science disciplines on their heads. We’re abandoning the older model of being “intuition-driven” in favor of being “analytics-driven.” People from anywhere in an organization are making business intelligence and analytics part of their daily routines. They expect analytics to work quickly and with any kind of data.
You’re no stranger to any of this. In fact, you are are living it every day. And, it poses a big challenge. How do you build a vast, interconnected analytics ecosystem? People are uploading spreadsheets into self-service, web-based solutions and using them to build a case for action or change. Or, they are using and customizing pre-built content for the same purpose. It’s critical to recognize and refine the data links between different parts of the business. In addition, you need to make sure data-focused resources are being used efficiently and—more importantly–effectively.
At the same time, one cannot live by self-service or data discovery alone. A recent report from Blue Hill Research called, “Enterprise BI Essentials: The Convergence of Self Service Autonomy and Enterprise Scalability” underscores this fact. The report notes that organizations must validate data sources, data joins, and other elements. Why? Because no one should be basing strategic decisions on user-generated content or promoting them broadly across the organization without some controls. Siloes still exist and one person’s truth could be another person’s false prophecy. Governance is more important than ever, even as it becomes more difficult to enact it.
So, what can you do to lead this charge? Here are four secrets to success.
Becoming an analytics-driven organization takes more than hiring the right people and investing in tools that promise trendy capabilities like machine learning. A successful transformation involves changing how your business runs. And to do that, you need to walk before you run. In other words, do some planning and strategizing before making any investments. An Analytics Maturity Model (such as the IBM Big Data and Analytics Maturity Model) can help. It can provide invaluable guidance to anyone who wants to assess where they are, where they want to be and how they plan to get there.
2. Get past the sticking point with an analytics competency center
The sticking point in the transformation to an analytics-driven organization can be implementation. How do you combine people with many different jobs into one unit for an end-to-end solution? How do you engage different business organizations in the effort? And how do you wrangle different pieces of technology to create a cohesive and complete platform that meets the needs of competing stakeholders? An analytics competency center can get you past the sticking point. It brings together a number of components, resources, approaches, technical strategies and governance structures to support the growth, promotion, “selling” and effective management of BI and analytics.
3. Build a modern and smart analytics foundation
What makes a BI and analytics platform modern? Industry experts and analysts say it’s an emphasis on self-service autonomy and discovery capabilities.
But it’s not enough to meet these criteria for a “modern” platform. The platform has to be smart or it won’t benefit all users. At the same time, business user agility cannot compromise enterprise scalability and governance. So, you need a foundation that consists of a trustworthy, governed view of what’s happening now. That way, you can understand why something happened, what might happen next and what your options might be for the best outcome. Therefore, a careful, controlled mix of self-service and enterprise capabilities is key. With both agility and governance under your belt, you can start to embed analytics in all corners of your organization with confidence.
If you’re like me, you probably get tired of reading articles that tell you to do something but don’t tell you how. Fortunately, this fourth secret covers that. The three other secrets in this post will be front and center at IBM Think 2018. Coming to Las Vegas in March, Think is IBM’s premier 2018 event for IBM Analytics. You won’t want to miss all the unique activities and sessions that show you how to embed working analytics at all levels of your organization quickly and with any kind of data.
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