It’s been an extremely interesting experience trying to do whatever it takes to stimulate the adoption of analytics by enterprises. Typically, service providers dangle the carrot of a POC or a “proof of concept”. Here, the service provider will endeavour to show a microcosm of the ultimate solution in the hope that the client organization can see “analytics at work” and gladly hop on to the bandwagon. To be sure, this route is very useful for the client to make a swift evaluation of the service provider’s approach, methodology and ability to deliver.
However, the ultimate objective is to unleash the power of analytics to transform their organization and launch it into a new orbit. To realize this, it is imperative to build the case for a properly scoped and funded “Managed Analytics Services” relationship.
So, why is it better to get into managed analytics services arrangements?
Understand the business:
Very often, the POC effort is like a Navy Seal Team Six kind of operation. Analytics sharpshooters are expected to parachute into completely unfamiliar terrain, hit the targets and get out before dawn. While this approach may be most appropriate for strategy consulting suits, it fails miserably here. The most important step in trying to make analytics work for clients is to contextualize it for the business and industry. Spending the required time and effort to understand and internalize learnings and nuances from the business stakeholders is like building the right foundation for the analytics edifice. It will make or break the relationship.
Organize the data:
It’s the cardinal rule everywhere: the freshest ingredients make for the best dishes. Since the premise of analytics solutions is data driven decision making, the time spent to hunt for the best data sources and augment that with the most relevant external overlays, is worth its weight in gold. At first glance, this hunt will resemble a dog chasing its tail and in a time and cost constrained POC environment, will quickly get categorized as NVA (non- value adding). But nothing can be further from the truth. A properly executed data exploration exercise will yield a very rich harvest.
Avoid hit and runs – Implement, Implement and Implement
In all analytical problem solving adventures, while the solution is the most exotic technique distilled through endless hours of intellectual ferment, it’s the humble implementation that delivers the business impact. Since the proof of the pudding is in the eating, hand-holding often sceptical business stakeholders patiently through all the hoops that the elegant solution entails is essential.
Institutionalization gets the best bang for the buck
By far, the biggest payback of investing in a managed analytics services relationship is the locking-in of the service provider into the full lifecycle of value realization through analytics deployment. Here the client has the opportunity to insist that the provider stay put and deliver the impact that was envisaged. It is also a clear differentiator to the “parachute-in and parachute-out” consultant approach, who charge the big bucks, provide some nice power words and power point, but little else.
The systematic exploration of “look-alike” opportunities elsewhere in the client organization bestows a force multiplier effect on the data driven decision making initiatives and realizes value at a level that is orders of magnitude higher than previously planned
And finally…. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
Whatever anybody may promise, there is no free lunch to be had. Establishing a credible cost framework and securing funding commitments for the required time horizon will enable clear expectations setting. All other things being equal, a service provider is going to bring the big guns out only for the most stable, appropriately funded assignments.
Similarly, the client also has the opportunity to negotiate benefit sharing agreements that are clearly aligned to realization of impact.
So it’s a win-win strategy to set up a clear eyed managed analytics services relationship upfront.
It may be smart to have live-in trial, but it’s not as fulfilling as a marriage!
BRIDGEi2i enables enterprises derive sustainable benefit from adoption of analytics. The Managed Analytics Services group within BRIDGEi2i is firmly focused on going the distance with client organizations to make sure that the realization of business impact is a core imperative of every engagement. To know more visit www.bridgei2i.com
This blog is authored by Nandhini Giridharan, analytics consultant at BRIDGEi2i
About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit www.bridgei2i.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.