In the last blog post we looked at what it means to be an analytically driven organisation, the steps to becoming an analytically driven organisation and the stages in our revolution. In this week’s blog I would like to look at these in a bit more detail.

Let’s start the very beginning and describe what an analytically impaired organisation look like:

  • Data is available but dispersed. Some data from multiple operational systems is accessable but not centralised.
  • There is an interest at some level on starting to use analytics but most of the organisation is blissfully unaware of it existence or capability
  • The decision making processes relies heavily on “gut-feel” 
  • In some instances the systems and processes are not sophisticated enough to be able to support advanced analytics

In order to move from being an analytically impaired organisation to being an organisation using  localized analytics there are a number of activities that you must engage in. This is the starting point for your analytics revolution. I like to think of it as the guerrilla warfare stage.

  • Be aware of the resources at your disposal and use them wisely.
  • Choose your allies carefully – because you will have very few resources at your exposure you need to work with like minded individuals who will support your cause. The first few projects you choose to work on could make or break you.
  • Choose your first analytics project with care, making sure that you:
    • Have access to sufficient data to produce some robust analysis.
    • There is a business decision process that can utilise the output from the analytics-based insights you produce and that you can measure the improvement achieved in this process.
    • If possible, align the outcome closely with elements in your business strategy.
    • Keep the projects small and relatively quick to implement.
  • Surprise, targeted attacks are needed at this stage to gather momentum!

You have morphed into an organisation using localized analytics if:

  • There are some functions in the business utilising some basic analytics with success. These are likely to be the projects you worked on during the previous stage.
  • Data is available but still dispersed. However, due to your recent work there is a growing awareness of the importance of having centralised data.
  • Some members of senior management are getting interested, but there are still some sceptics about the place.

In order to move from being an organsiation using localized analytics there are a number of activities that you must engage in. This stage is all about gaining momentum and building a really good story around analytics in your organisation. Here are some of those activities:

  • Educating and building awareness is key during this time.
  • Keep producing actionable insight in the areas of the business where you have good support – keep your friends close.
  • Start trying to extend analytical capability into new areas – keep you enemies closer.
  • Do not rest on your laurels; winning a few good battles does not mean that you have won the war

If your plan is working and you have moved on to being an organisationm with  analytical aspirations these are the type of changes you should be witnessing:

  • Analytics is seen as a strategic tool that can move the business forward.
  • The cheque-book is out and there is a commitment at senior executive level to invest in analytical capabilities.
  • A plan to move the business forward into an analytically driven organisation exists and is central to the business strategy.

Next time we will look at the final steps involved in becoming an analytically driven organisation.