Moving Forward with Analytics

In this study, we have laid out three competencies based on our analysis of how Aspirational, Experienced and Transformed organizations use analytics, and what they were able to achieve competitively. The challenge, however, is typically not in finding the business case; it’s in identifying the starting point and creating a plan. To help organizations begin and reach their goals, we make the following suggestions based on our experience with a broad spectrum of organizations in multiple industries:

Recommendation 1: Assess your analytics sophistication

Recommendation 2: Improve your analytics competencies

Recommendation 3: Use an information agenda to connect your path to your competencies.

Recommendation 1: Assess your analytics sophistication

How close is your reality to the vision of your organization transformed by analytics? Consider whether some functions or some lines of business are farther along than others, and bring people together to share aspirations and concerns as they relate to analytics. Explore the big business challenges that can be addressed by analytics and evaluate together your organization’s readiness to address them. Figures 1 and 12 contain information to help you assess your level of analytics sophistication and understand next steps.

Aspirational — start with the most important metrics. You may have a vision for analytics, but have not made it part of an information agenda, with an analytics strategy that is measurable and can be acted upon. Data management is ad hoc, not part of a governance system, while spreadsheets and standardized reports capture all your organization’s analytical activity. Business leaders across levels should launch efforts to select business challenges that can be addressed analytically and set specific objectives for doing so. Dashboards and scorecards should be used to monitor performance against these targets.

Experienced — understand your path. If you have made some progress toward analytical transformation, determine which path you have taken — Specialized or Collaborative? Use Figure 12 to assess your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths but remediate your weaknesses. If you’re pursuing analytics projects but avoiding internal conflicts over data standards, find out how other organizations have negotiated these shoals. If you’re putting all of your resources into establishing or meeting enterprise data standards, start developing analytics skills and tools to reap value from the information you have. Get support for acquiring tools and skills that will bring state-of-the-art analytical capabilities into your organization.

Transformed — look ahead.