Enterprises Need to Get Past Buzzwords to Gain Value from Analytics – Part 1

buzzwords
Let’s play a small game!

Raise your hands if your company is busy waxing on about the buzzword – heavy coverage on data analysis. Don’t just read along, just keep your hands raised! Okay, now keep it raised if your company is adept in deciphering the science of analysis – the transformation of data into useful information through analysis. Now keep it raised if your company has sustained impact from analytics and taken strategic decisions through data? I do understand, your arms must be really tired, but hold on! Few more to go! Are you able to embed analytics into your DNA?  I won’t bring you much trouble if you keep your hands raised till my final question. Keep it raised if your big data and analytics projects have achieved 100% success rate.

If your arms are still up, then congratulations! Your company has gone past the buzzwords in analytics, and in case you have “no” for my questions, your company probably has not been able to discover the magic key of analytics.

We are very much conversant with data and how it works; and of course, at our disposal, we have analytics that analyzes, arranges, and manages all kinds of information to aid in decision-making. But does it actually behave like a silver bullet amidst the mayhem of its buzzword coverage? In one of our articles – The Last Mile of Analytics – we tried to get the answer for what is actually required to succeed in analytics and what is the real picture of analytics amidst all poorly defined jargons.

When a popular trend arrives, be it in the business world or elsewhere, it’s inevitable to stop it from swaying the corners. Such is the case with the field of analytics as well. With the growing data deluge and popularity of analytics, the buzzwords and language associated with it have also swept the cabin floors of all the technology practitioners. But is it sufficient to simply bone up to these buzzwords and predict sustainable impact through it?

Without a goal analytics is aimless and worthless. – Michael Portar

For analytics to ignite an organization’s engine, it should go beyond structured, unstructured, and repeatable business problems and figure out what is needed to embed analytics into the company’s DNA.

Waking up to the challenges!

Ronal Coase, Nobel Prize Laureate, simply did not say, “Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.” There is a strong reason behind his statement. Everybody is humming the tune of analytics, how valuable it is, and the insights it can offer to a business to get a competitive edge. But are we able to tap the complete set of benefits from analytics? Or simply put, do we actually know how to tap it? The critical bridge between data analytics and business is often weak, and the problem is that no one really seems to be sure or capable of structuring analytics as an investment. Analytics investments have yet to pay off owing to the dearth of information, resources, tools, and a thought leadership team, thus restricting analytics investments from yielding significant benefits. Let’s drill down more into the broken links between analytics and businesses.

Failing to embed analytics into the fabric of businesses

Go back and think about your past experiences with handling data and see if you can recall any experience when you had gotten fed of data and rumbled hard, then got moved by a powerful tool called ANALYTICS. After multiple failed attempts of streamlining bad and good data, you ended up into analytics and started using it in every aspect. But you soon realized that despite having analytics as the panacea for the data challenge, your company wasn’t successful in executing big data/analytics projects. Although the benefits of analytics are endless, the implementation of complex analytics programs continues to be one of the grave challenges in the data realm.

The biggest obstacles to successful business analytics deployments are not data related. They are in fact related to lack of skills and a corporate culture that is resistant to change. There’s a huge divide between, senior management saying they value analytics and doing what it takes to actually embed analytical thinking into one’s organizational DNA. Lack of executives ‘willingness and full support in adopting the changes in the culture necessary to get past the report/dashboard stage, absence of open culture to accept the fact that analytics may change fundamental views about clients and processes have hindered the efforts of embedding analytics into the fabric of business process. While the challenges will remain to dominate, but with the right approach over the next few.

The biggest obstacles with regard to successful business analytics deployments are not data related. They are in fact related to lack of skills and a corporate culture that is resistant to change. There’s a huge divide between senior management, which claims to value analytics, and doing what it takes to actually embed analytical thinking into the organizational DNA. Lack of executives’ willingness and full support in making the cultural changes necessary to get past the report/dashboard stage and the absence of open culture to accept the fact that analytics may change fundamental views about clients and processes have hindered the efforts of embedding analytics into the fabric of business processes. In spite of such challenges, with the right approach over the next few years, analytics can become a part of an organization’s DNA.

Not seeing metrics as a success enabler

The Internet has made marketing far more quantifiable today and therefore more answerable to the C-suite executives. Your banners could be hitting high stats on social media or they could be a dud, giving you sharp downturns. How to predict these uncertainties? The answer is metrics. Marketing metrics look at the total cost of marketing, including program spend, salaries of the team, and overhead, and relate that cost to revenue and customer acquisition.

However, CEOs are still not fluent with metrics and are rather uninformed regarding the ins-and-outs of metrics and their role in driving success. Metrics help in making decisions about where to focus and understanding what parts of the marketing process are a failure; but most CEOs just care about the cost and the net results, not the interim steps of measuring metrics through analytics. This becomes a tight spot and restricts companies in adopting analytics holistically. To curb this bottleneck and pave the road to success, companies should become well-informed about their businesses and spearhead with strategies and steps to track key metrics that can work best. The companies should also implement strategic decision-making at the top level for realizing significant profits.

Organizations should aim at ensuring that employees see the implementation of analytics as a positive and unequivocal energy. Only then will organizations’ analytics investments be fruitful. The litany of challenges will not end here. Follow PART 2 of this article and learn what it takes to bring analytics to life across an organization’s pillars.

BRIDGEi2i Analytics Whitepaper: The Last Mile of Analytics

BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. With a combination of domain expertise, advanced analytics capabilities, and technology accelerators, To know more, head over to www.bridgei2i.com

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