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                                                                                                                                                                            - by Srini Pagidyala

Many decisions, big and small are made every day across various lines of business, executive offices and departments in your organization. How are these decisions made today in your organization? What drives the decision maker(s) to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for any particular decision? Let’s look at some of the key business challenges that many organizations are facing today where decision making is critical.

Fig 1.1

Now imagine how different your organization would be if everyone is making the best possible decision every day based on the trusted and accessible information they have to address these business challenges? Most organizations realize that innovation and culture dictate the long-term success and even survival of the company, as we see it today. Is there an approach or a methodology that can really help organizations understand what analytics maturity looks like and more importantly, how they can embed analytics into their culture and increase organizational maturity in analytics?

Empowering everyone from shop floor to the top floor with the right information at the right time is one of the most effective and proven ways to driving innovation – incremental (improving the core) or transformational (creating fundamentally new business). As a result, innovation then comes from all corners of the company by igniting the brilliance and not just from the corner office that is dedicated to innovation. Though adding a new value into company’s culture is never easy, with the right approach, proper tools and right leadership, cultures can be reshaped – with amazing results. Every organization that is adapting Analytics will be going through a maturity curve moving from operational or descriptive analytics to knowledgeable or predictive analytics to transformational or prescriptive analytics. Below is the organizational maturity curve moving from operational to transformational analytics.

Fig 1.2

The approach that has worked very effectively for us over the years in helping customers navigate across the Analytics Maturity Curve is “Think BIG, Start Small, Deliver Value” (Fig 1.3) as it allows organizations to evolve at their own pace.    

Fig 1.3

Think BIG – refers to establishing an Analytics Center of Excellence, (COE) also Referred as Business Analytics Competency Center (BACC).

1.     Analytics COE steering committee will be setting the vision and strategy for Analytics COE by combining business and IT stakeholders.

Analytics COE covers the following critical areas:

A. Organizational Management

    • Executive support
    • Business objective/goal alignment
    • Business ownership
    • Change management
    • Publish analytics scorecard

B.    Information Management

    • Data Management
    • Data Architecture
    • Data Storage
    • Hardware
    • Software

C.   Analytics Management

    • Descriptive (Reporting, Analysis, dashboards, mobile etc)
    • Predictive (on Big Data and any data)
    • Prescriptive (specific to business outcome)

2.     Data Governance – this is a critical aspect of the approach and no matter how great analytics look like if users don’t trust the data they see in them, users will go back to their old ways be it spreadsheets or access databases.

Hence there is a greater need for organizations to comprehensively address issues related to data management by creating a practical permanent data governance function that becomes part of corporate core operational process to instill a culture and discipline of treating enterprise data as most valuable and key competitive asset.

Very similar to PMO (Project Management Office) in many organizations, having a DGO (Data Governance Office) is one of the most effective ways to instill the culture of analytics.

Fig 1.4

3.     Information Agenda – this is about identifying and prioritizing high-value business improvement opportunities (BIOs) and iteratively collaborating with the business stakeholders to co-innovate and produce transformational solutions.

Creating one or two true analytics success stories quickly is one of the key task to get business buy-in and what is even more important is evangelizing these analytics success stories across the organization by partnering with the business users who now have become believers with their new experiences using analytics is one of the strategic step towards driving analytics into the culture of an organization.

As discussed earlier, while adding a new value into company’s culture is never easy, with rightmethod, cultures can be reshaped – with amazing results.

Below is the The Results Pyramid® —the classic model that organizations throughout the world have used to create a culture of greater employee ownership and engagement for achieving Key Organizational Results.

The Results Pyramid® explains how to make culture change happen effectively, accurately, and efficiently in an organization or team.

The Results Pyramid helps leaders (in our case, the steering committee of  Analytics COE) add emphasis on how people need to think differently. Once leaders learn how to shape beliefs by providing new experiences, they find that their efforts make a much stronger and longer lasting impact on their company’s culture by driving appropriate actions and realizing the results continually.

New experiences create or reinforce beliefs that motivate necessary actions to produce desirable results.

Fig 1.5     Change the culture; change the game by Tom Smith

Understanding some of the the common obstacles for widespread analytics adoption in an organization helps the Analytics COE to design programs that can address the ‘adoption’ issue. Adoption is not just about top-down push on business users to use analytics rather finding right analytics that deliver value to business users. Below are some of the most common obstacles for widespread analytics adoption:

Fig 1.6

As you are designing your road-map, one of the key things you want to keep in mind is the evolving nature of your business needs, trends in the analytics world. What is important now versus what is of most value in 24 months may be two different things as illustrated in the picture below.

Fig 1.7

Steps to Getting Started on the Analytics Journey  To Produce Transformational Business Outcomes

How does an organization get started on their analytics journey without having to boil the ocean? I will attempt to simplify it without making it simplistic:

  1. Put together an analytics strategy based on your business goals, company culture and business intelligence landscape within your organization.
  2. In parallel, identify one or two opportunities from information agenda, that are of high value for business and produce a proof of concept addressing the current concerns that business users have about analytics.
  3. The outputs from the analytics strategy need to be a detailed roadmap that would allow organizations to implement the strategy leveraging the  ‘Think BIG, Start Small, Deliver Value’ approach discussed earlier.
  4. Secure the executive sponsorship and business buy-in based on the outputs from item #2 and item #3.
  5. Put together the right team, internal resources (IT, Business and Executives) and external consultants/specialists with the right analytics platform to start the journey. The right platform will give you access to the toolset that you need to address the demand from your business users ranging from data quality to data integration to formatted reporting to ad-hoc analysis to dash boards to predictive analysis.

When Analytics driven culture becomes pervasive, the volume of insights increase drastically across the board creating many ‘aha’ moments. Innovation - incremental and/or transformational then comes as a result of these ‘aha’ moments from all corners of the company.

One of our very large customer who started their analytics journey with us a couple of years ago leveraging the principles and the framework laid out here shared the following news beaming with pride "IT isn't order taker any more, we are now part of strategic group that partners with business leaders in the ideation stage to drive innovation. Just a couple of year’s back this was an impossible dream and today it's a reality."

Wishing you greater levels of user enagement and adoption in your organization leading to transformational outcomes.


Srini Pagidyala

About Us

Innovative Analytics | Transformationa l Business Value | Committed Management and Dedicated Team

ProMorphics provides solutions for enterprise customers that improve organizational innovation and performance through the right use of analytics by Maximizing data value. We achieve this through best business practices and higher-levels of collaboration with customers which earned us the status of “trusted advisor” with our customers who proudly showcase their solutions and share their transformational success stories. We are the most dependable analytics partner in North America using big data and mobile analytics for customers leveraging SAP HANA, BusinessObjects and Mobility

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