250 Business Leaders Share Their Top 5 Analytics Tips

People   |   Andy MacIsaac   |   Oct 19, 2020

An analytics culture (data-driven culture) has huge potential to impact your company’s ROI and help you get an edge on the competition — an initiative that’s more important than ever during uncertain economic times. But building anything worthwhile requires a thoughtful strategy, so start by exploring these five key tips from our commissioned survey with Forrester. This Opportunity Snapshot polled 250 business and analytics leaders from over 18 industries around the globe to see what they had to say about building a successful analytics culture.

Start your analytics culture on the right track with these five tips.

Invest in data and analytics, even during challenging times

66% of leaders invest somewhat more or significantly more in data and analytics innovations during downswings. While data and analytics can be used for growth, they can also be leveraged to help companies recover, spend wisely during tough times, and optimize process efficiency. Leaders recognize that a good analytics program boosts resiliency in rapidly changing environments.

Encourage collaboration among analytics and data science teams

Almost 80% of business leaders identified collaboration as critical to their organization’s success, so make sure to emphasize teamwork between analytics and data science teams early and often. When these groups work together talent, ideas, and processes can be optimized and companies can grow their collective body of knowledge. This is definitely a case where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Tear down the barriers to access with self-service analytics

Leaders identified self-service analytics as a key area for improvement.

Two thirds of organizations currently have initiatives to encourage collaboration between analytics/data science teams and the business, and 62% are working to automate business processes.

An analytics culture is about making data readily available to all employees (data democratization), but you can’t build a data-driven culture if no one has access to data and insights. Self-service analytics platforms allow employees across all departments and levels of a company to rapidly access their own insights, rather than relying on another department for answers. It’s both easier and faster for employees to tackle tough questions and make data-driven decisions.

It’s not about hiring more people, it’s about upskilling current employees

One of the biggest concerns voiced by leaders in the survey is data literacy among employees. Their advice is to concentrate on training and upskilling all employees in analytics, rather than hiring more data scientists and business analysts. Education within and across lines of business can be a key differentiator in building a successful analytics culture. When employees feel confident and comfortable working with data, they’ll be more likely to turn to rather than away from data to make decisions and find insights.

Choose the right technology

There are a wide variety of self-service analytic process automation platforms to pick from. The best platforms help companies address major problem areas, including access, employee training, and process automation. Leaders also considered these features when choosing a platform:

  • Breadth of functionality: Companies need platforms that can provide a wide range of functions from automating processes for greater efficiency to quickly discovering new insights.
  • Cost: It’s more important than ever that data programs provide a significant return on investment, especially during an economic downswing. Platforms need to be cost-effective.
  • Flexibility: The best platforms support diverse data sources and can publish outcomes to multiple outputs, including applications that power continuous process automation.
  • Ease of use: Leaders looked for platforms that were self-service, easy to use, and provided allowed users to get up and running quickly.