Are you using analytics to advance business or increase busyness?

Are you using analytics to advance business or increase busyness? Approaching analytics from business questions has been recognized for years – yet many companies still approach it like an IT investment. Why? Read more about how to take the right stance on analytics.

Bridging the gap between data and operations has been a hot subject for years. Surging input has driven companies to seek solutions to manage the ever-escalating amount of data. Too often the focus has been on handling the volume of, not finding insight within the information.

Companies have applied the model of creating a repository of information and then “mining” it for nuggets of value. Responsibility for creating and running the process has fallen naturally on IT ­– after all, they hold the budget for all matters relating to data.

This is all fine and dandy. The data mining machine can churn for years and produce loads of interesting analysis for the company. And keep an army of data scientists busy.

 But is it creating and driving business?

Advanced analytics should be a central function within the strategic as well as the operative arm of the company. The first step should be to search for business-critical questions in which analytics can add value to business. In many cases the benefits can be captured also without major IT investments.

The responsibility for the endeavor should fall on the desk of a key executive – for example the COO or CFO. And they should target the effort to seeking business and process improvement opportunities in which information and analytics  are most helpful for the business. Not on how to store and organize information in the most cost-efficient way.

Advanced analytics can be a key business discipline and it needs to be treated as such. It demands investment in multi-discipline thinking – not just the IT-budget. And the thinkers must have a spot at the company’s key strategic and operative forums.

Until responsibility is imposed on the right capabilities and empowered with the authority to impact strategy and operations, even the most advanced analytical tools will produce feeble returns.

While IT remains an enabler, business must become the driver for advanced analytics.