Whether you’re trying to connect the dots of a complex business problem with data, seeking deeper understanding of your customers, or attempting to unveil forward-thinking aha! moments that can drive your organization into the future, data science and analytics is the key to unlocking answers.
This is nothing new or revolutionary. But today, going beyond the “what” to understand the “why” is no longer optional — data analytics laggards will get left behind in the competitive landscape of tomorrow.
According to the 2020 Global State Of Enterprise Analytics report, 94% of organizations say data and analytics are important to their business growth. Yet 69% report that they have not created a data-driven organization.
Using data to become insight-rich and visionary will open new doors of opportunity, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Data analytics is not a destination, it’s a journey — one that requires collaboration, determination, and dedication from the top down and bottom up. When everyone embraces a culture of analytics, data transformation alters the future of an organization.
It Starts With a Question
At any given hour in your organization, there are people asking questions to drive innovation, learn about the business, or understand past project results. Those questions may sound like:
Who are our most valuable customers?
How can we prevent customer attrition?
How do we grow our single-product customers to multi-product customers?
What are the implications if we reduce service levels to certain segments?
When is the best time to introduce a new product?
Why should we consider expanding into a new market or category?
The highest performing companies seek data-driven responses, but the path to those answers isn’t always clear or direct. Think of it like Pandora’s Box — the moment one question is answered, a multitude of people get involved through a variety of processes and new questions arise along the way.
The following players struggle through complex, legacy processes and systems of data, but strive to achieve the common goal of better answers, faster:
- Line of Business Leaders ask the questions, trying to make decisions faster than ever, and prioritize high-value outcomes. However, they don’t realize the implications of the path down which they’re sending analysts in order to find the answer within their timeline.
- Analysts receive hundreds of questions from leaders and others in the business, but know it’s important to understand asks from the real stakeholders. They don’t want to waste time solving one question only to receive seven more that could have been answered simultaneously. They spin their wheels trying to access the right data, slogging through analytics in spreadsheets or legacy tools to deliver insights on time.
- IT are the gatekeepers of data, committed to keeping data safe and ensuring it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, this can send analysts into a lengthy queue to get data they need and if the initial request isn’t exactly right, they are back into the ticketing system, wasting hours or even days.
- Data scientists must deliver on strategic projects, but get bogged down by daily business requests from analysts that require code to answer forward-thinking questions. To compensate, they utilize queues which force the analysts to wait longer for deep insights.
Opening the figurative Pandora’s Box and navigating the winding way to answers is not easy, to say the least, and sometimes people give up and resort to relying on gut feelings when answers aren’t delivered in time. Investing in a data analytics strategy will undoubtedly be one of the most valuable initiatives an organization undertakes and can lead to discoveries that were once out of reach.
Before You Begin, Know Where You Are
The first step to embarking on your modern analytics journey is to assess where you stand today. This informs where you want to go and determines how you’ll get there.
- Are you currently relying on localized tools (e.g., spreadsheets) to produce insights? If so, you’re likely just beginning to embark on your journey.
- Do you need to produce forecasts, segmentation, or expected outcomes on demand? If so, you’re likely headed to unleashing advanced analytics.
- Does your organization need automation to improve governed analytics delivery to everyone? If so, you’re likely looking to scale analytics across your organization.
- Are you looking to optimize analytic best practices through a passionate community of experts? If so, building a culture of analytics is your primary focus.
Not sure where you are, but know you want to go farther? Read our latest e-book to learn about the power of insightful intelligence and the modern analytics journey.
Embark on Self-Service Analytics
Right now, you’re probably having to answer a variety of questions like:
- What are the latest figures for the quarter and how does this compare year over year?
- Who is our target customer?
- When is the best time to launch a new product or marketing campaign?
- What does this change mean for sales operations, finance, etc.?
You’ve got a tight deadline and you start working to solve these problems but finding the insight to use in answering those questions is a bit like searching for a needle in a complex haystack of different data types across disparate locations.
By embarking on the self-service analytics journey, organizations are able to:
- Access and combine any data source, in any format, in any location to get a 360-degree view of the problem
- Fulfill reporting requests working with a single platform and people with the relevant business expertise instead of chaotic time-consuming analytic processes
- Use drag-and-drop tools to uncover insights with transparency at every step that can be easily explained to stakeholders
- Automate processes to save time and deliver insights faster
An American worldwide financial services and communications company reduced 100 hours of manual processes to 4 minutes.
Unleash the Power of Analytics
At this point in your journey, you are either solving or looking to solve more complicated, future-facing questions such as:
- Which customers are likely to buy or respond to our campaign?
- What should we do to minimize churn?
- How will different scenarios impact us?
But often, the hopes of making mind-blowing discoveries fall short because those discoveries have required additional technology and skillsets to create and put forward-thinking plans into action.
By unleashing advanced analytics, the organization can chart a course to act on intelligence and ensure optimal decision-making at every level. It empowers analysts and data scientists to:
- Make confident forward-looking decisions powered by predictive analytics
- Build relationships across teams to grow skills and relieve workloads
- Automate predictions and use machine learning to achieve analytic breakthroughs
- Reach their full analytics potential
With a collaborative approach that uses predictive analytics, organizations can adopt strategies that tap into their potential and outpace the competition with an anticipatory strategy.
A major American airline company improved fuel forecasting by 70%.
Want to learn more? Read the whole story here.
Scale the Power of Analytics
Discovering insights faster and conducting predictive analysis are just the tip of the data science and analytics iceberg.
At this stage, you can deliver data-driven insights faster than ever before, but it’s all wasted work if people around the organization aren’t leveraging these insights.
By scaling the power of analytics, every department can immediately see results, from time savings to optimized resources to delivery of higher revenue. Organizations will experience transformative benefits including:
- Dismantlement of silos and revelation of cross-functional insights to drive innovation on both big and small projects
- Empowerment of all team members to make impactful, data-driven decisions at any time
- Reduction of overall resources by automating processes
- Impetus for employees to reach their full potential by eliminating time spent on manual tasks
Build a Culture of Analytics
The final stage of the journey to analytics maturity is building a culture that embeds analytics into the organizational DNA. The approach to achieving this stage can come as a mandate from a Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDO/CDAO) or can organically arise from analysts inspiring employees at every level to embrace data analytics into every aspect of their work lives.
When organizations embrace a culture of analytics, they ask big-picture questions that go well beyond the numbers. Things like:
- How can we build analytic best practices throughout our organization?
- Is our data in an optimal state?
- Do we have the infrastructure in place to create the best strategies?
- How can we enable and develop global teams to collaborate on strategic analytics?
By building a shared analytics vision and embedding it in every layer, organizations can innovate and compete with data-driven strategies. Then, an organization’s innovation leads to digital disruption, and data transformation becomes its core competency.
Moving From Challenge to Change
The path to digital transformation has many twists and turns along the way. But one thing remains constant throughout — the need for a best-in-class data analytics partner. With the highest-performing solution, analysts and data scientists are empowered to make big data discoveries that can change the future of an organization.
Learn more about the state of data science and analytics in this latest report.