A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Thomas Davenport, professor and fellow at MIT, caught my attention. Davenport refers to the beginnings of a new era: “After Big Data” in his article Analytics 3.0. While organizations built around massive data volumes — such as Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, Amazon and others — may be ready to move to the next wave of analytics, the full spectrum of big data capabilities is yet to be realized in the traditional organizations we work with on a daily basis.
However, despite the ever-improving technical advances and the continuous innovation of our customers, I am finding a common theme that also Davenport refers to in his article: “Competing on analytics not only in the traditional sense (by improving internal business decisions) but also by creating more valuable products and services” requires the resolve of the companies’ management, cross-disciplinary teams and more change management than ever. He mentions UPS’ Orion system for the optimization of routing for parcel delivery, in which more time was spent on change management than the actual technical implementation.
As analytics become more embedded into companies’ business operations, decision-making becomes more agile, more information-driven, it is critical that organizations not only implement the technology, but more importantly organize for successful analytics and ensure executives to employees are prepared for the inevitable change.
Over the past two years, I have spent considerable time working with companies to break down the traditional barriers of IT and business by supporting the design and implementation of the most optimal, yet dynamic structure to allow the organization to adapt to this new reality. As an example, the results of this transformation in several operating companies of the worlds largest telecommunications group have been tremendous. With continued pressure on headcount and operating expenses, these telecommunications companies were able to save greater 30% on OPEX, while increasing the satisfaction of business users with improved agility, governance and insight through self-service analytics.
The implementation of a new analytics focused, multidisciplinary organizational structure, an “Analytics Center of Excellence”, reporting directly into the most suitable C-level executive (i.e. CFO / CSO / CEO), ensures the necessary executive sponsorship and will provide the platform to prepare the organization for the next level of analytics. Only a focused approach — with information and analytics identified as a strategic asset of the company plus the change management to align IT and business functions — embed self-service BI in the day-to-day activities of line managers and employees alike will allow the organization to reap the benefits of the technical capabilities available today and into tomorrow. Perhaps it is time for your organization to review how it is approaching analytics?
Marc Haberland is the Managing Director of Clariba. He looks back on 14 years of Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) experience across many industries throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America. Marc currently leads his team of BI experts in Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Spain to deliver projects across the Gulf, KSA, in Europe and North America. Prior to working in the BI space Marc held various management positions in sales, marketing and product management with Picis and Hitachi Europe. Marc received his Masters in Technical Marketing and his Bachelor in Electronics Engineering from Polytechnical University in Munich, Germany. Marc can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org