One of the challenges that many CIO’s face in driving adoption of analytics throughout different layers of the enterprise is demonstrating the business value that can be delivered to different types of users.
For instance, some senior executives are accustomed to making judgments based on intuition and gut instinct versus evidence-based decision making. Other user types, such as mid-level managers, may rely heavily on customer, market, and/or operational data on a day-to-day basis but may not otherwise be aware of the merits of using analytics to quickly spot trends or reveal fresh insights about key developments.
Companies such as Amazon, Facebook & Google that are highly successful at leveraging data-analysis to drive their businesses and obtain a competitive edge all have one thing in common – they’ve nurtured organizational cultures that embrace the use of analytics.
A big part of the challenge for many companies is that while the adoption of analytics is on the rise, analytics “is not yet deeply ingrained into the fabric of most companies as an integrated, enterprise-wide approach,” says Narendra Mulani, senior managing director at Accenture Analytics.
For instance, while the use of analytics as a predictive tool has nearly tripled from 12% in 2009 to 33% today, only one-fifth of responders (22%) say they are “ very satisfied ” with business outcomes driven by the use of analytics to date, according to a recent Accenture survey of 600 executives in the US and the UK.
This may be due, in part, to the fact that 45% of respondents describe their analytical capabilities as either limited, in need of improvement, lacking Senior Management support, OR piecemeal.
A top-down approach is often most successful at fostering a culture of analytics by having senior management demonstrate how they’re able to extract meaningful insights and apply those to making decisions that advance the company’s mission.
In many cases, this often starts with a single executive acting as a champion for analytics who can clearly articulate how she’s using data and analytics in her role as well as talk about the business or operational benefits that have been obtained.
Data visualization techniques can also be used to show other executives and key stakeholders how new trends and vital insights can be quickly recognized and acted on. Seeing is believing. Being able to visually show what analytics can do for a marketing manager or a financial analyst is a critical step toward driving adoption and spreading the good word about the business value of analytics.
When influential leaders evangelize and communicate the benefits of data analysis throughout all corners of the enterprise, they can help employees in other roles, from line of business leaders to senior staffers, understand that analytics should be the fundamental method for achieving results throughout the organization.