Despite the professed benefits, there remains a real uncertainty around how to leverage the technology and ecosystem to achieve business value from big data analytics. Many stakeholders understand the urgency around analytics for the strategic success and competitive edge of their organisation, but fail to understand how to extract significant value from data.
We regularly hear how analytics investment is revealing customer needs and informing future product development and innovation. How operating costs are being significantly reduced, processing time and services optimised, with insights providing more effective decision making and planning. Clearly, organisations with targeted actions can maximise returns and identify potential business risks.
Indeed many organisations are excelling at leveraging data. They are raising the profile for data and analytics, and promoting the ability to interact and provide customer services in a new way using new technology platforms based upon data and information driving the way they operate. The next 5-10 years is going to see global transformation, with advancing technology, the impact of the IoT, and maturation of cloud and development of human talent that will inevitably grow to operate in this new environment. But if we listen carefully, we hear about the disconnect. A lack of confidence from those companies who are failing to make inroads, with questions around investment in structures, existing talent, and the available commercial solutions.
Gartner predicts that by 2019 only half of those in the Chief Data and Analytics Officer role would be successful. Certainly the role of the CDAO is to add value but those who will fail in the CDAO function will have failed to manage stakeholder expectations. The strategy has to be a carefully managed approach that is effectively communicated and underwritten by well developed organisational support. The strategic purpose of the CDAO is turning data into knowledge to make better decisions but managing stakeholder expectations has to be their number one priority.
As you build the strategic ecosystem of the future, it has to deliver value not only for the future but for today. It has to show the value and demonstrate that it is being driven throughout the business areas to provide impact and confidence. Building the strategy and the assets has to enable a ‘fast-fail’, learn quickly and move forward environment. The business certainly expects the data analytics strategy to ‘succeed fast’.
Building the strategy and the assets has to enable a ‘fast-fail’, learn quickly and move forward environment. The business certainly expects the data analytics strategy to ‘succeed fast’.
Re-Writing the Legacy
The adoption of agile principles through the development of models, data, business value activities are also complimentary to any big data analytics programmes. For many organisations though, legacy is prevalent through their technology, data and culture. Smaller, newer companies have developed with data as a core activity. Larger organisations are operating in the reverse as legacy companies with legacy cultures now operate in a big data analytics world. The business is critically still running off the old systems and culture, however if you can tap the potential for change and exploit it, the business will respond and the analytics value will quickly gain stock. These legacy aspects have to be impacted to ensure the success and sustainability of big data analytics.
Internal and Expanding Capability
The lead protagonists are the analytics team who should represent a blend of skills. Many question whether to train up or recruit externally but the fact is that the BAU will inevitably evolve and expand with the rise of self-service analytics, text search, AaaS and AI. These advances will only bring value if the CDAO can embed a new mind-set so the organisation starts to value data as an asset and makes data driven decisions. The broader organisational culture is a key aspect.
So to Re-cap How to Avoid this Disconnect:
- Gain meaningful support and understanding of stakeholder expectations
- Transform from a legacy environment to a modern technology and data environment
- Build internal talent capability
- Implement data governance across the organisation
- Build predictive and prescriptive analytics capability
- Adopt a strategic partner as a specialist in the data and analytics space to help progress and move things forward
- Impact the culture in a holistic and meaningful way
With the wealth of data in the next few years there is going to be a tidal wave of innovation. For many organisations, it will be the strategic plan they set out now and the level of big data analytics investment that determines how they will respond to this new business environment. The success of data analytics in each organisation will be determined by how the leader in the CDAO role has managed that strategic plan.
By Kate Tappin:
Kate Tappin is the Content Director for Corinium. For enquiries email: [email protected]