What’s holding back your analytics deployment? For many, it’s a problem of cross-functionality, in that, solutions that work for one department may not work for another, and trying to convince business “silos” to give up a measure of control in favor of collaboration is often a losing battle. It’s no surprise, then, that according to the Harvard Business Review, just 33 percent of companies across the United States and Western Europe are “aggressively adopting analytics across the entire enterprise.” So how do companies effectively integrate analytics without alienating department heads or compromising ROI? It all starts at the center.
The notion of distributed, integrated analytics suggests that there’s no real center of mass, no single point from which all tools and solutions stem. This kind of deployment has issues. When problems crop up or it’s time to take adoption to the next level, no one knows where to turn. Think of it like “big bang” analytics—you get great results up front but as the system becomes more far-flung, those most distant from the center begin to struggle.
According to HBR, therefore, it’s critical to create a “center of gravity” for analytics, which takes the form of what they term an “Analytics Center of Excellence (COE) which spans the enterprise.” The idea is to staff a COE team with technology, analytics and business experts who can speak to any aspect of the system at any time. And more importantly, this COE must be agile and responsive, able to respond when things go awry or new strategies are needed.
It sounds a bit like meditation, but companies need to find their center when it comes to analytics. This isn’t about mass but message—what’s the purpose of an integrated set of analysis tools. It’s here than many enterprises struggle, since they know the value of collected, sorted and relational data but often approach analytics as a “must have” because competitors have already made the investment. In other words, deployments are developed without a specific purpose in mind, leaving companies in free-fall since they don’t have a clear vision of what their solution should be measuring, what metrics “move the needle,” and what really delivers ROI.
Getting integrated starts with a plan: What’s the end goal of your analytics deployment, and how will you know if it has been achieved? This forms the center of an integrative, collaborative solution and is backed up by a center-mass of experts that are able to respond if departments require assistance and facilitate the transition from siloe-d data to shared information.
Want integration? Start at the center.