When executives first realize their need for analytics, they tend to turn to those closest to them for answers. Over time, these point-of-need resources come together in local line of business units to enable sharing of insights. Ultimately, centralized units emerge to bring a shared enterprise perspective — governance, tools, methods — and specialized expertise. As executives use analytics more frequently to inform day-to day decisions and actions, this increasing demand for insights keeps resources at each level engaged, expanding analytic capabilities even as activities are shifted for efficiencies. (see Figure 9.)
The frequency with which analytics is used to support decisions increases as organizations transition from one level of analytic capability to the next. At the same time, analytics migrate toward more centralized units, first at the local line of business level and then at the enterprise level, while the portion of analytics performed at points-of-need and with IT remain stable.
Sophisticated modeling and visualization tools, as we have noted, will soon provide greater business value than ever before. But that does not mean that spreadsheets and charts should go away.