Five success factors to embed analytics in your organisation

Accelerate embedding analytics to drive more from your enterprise analytics investment

Natalie Mendes, Analytics Specialist, SAS


The hot topic of conversation at board room meetings is that organisations MUST leverage more data and analytics to drive better business decisions.  While in theory this is the best practice approach – many organisations still struggle to extract value from their current investments they have made in analytics assets – data, people, software and infrastructure. Gartner measures the global analytics market spend to be $17 billion in 2016 – yet still too many businesses run on contradictory spreadsheets and gut-feel instincts.  Is there a quick win resolution to accelerate some value from assets?

You need the right data management strategy to achieve your analytics objectives, and a contemporary data strategy begins with recognising how the exponential increase in available data has changed the game.

In the recent research brief from the International Institute for Analytics (IIA), authored by Sandra Hogan, she says “executing on them will facilitate and accelerate embedding analytics – and drive more value from the enterprise analytics investment.”  Sandra’s experience implementing these factors, is backed up by several customer engagements that have successfully embedded a functioning analytics enterprise. 

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The 2016 IIA research brief “Embedding Analytics in the Organisation” asks two big questions.  Where do we start?  And how aggressively do we proceed?  It’s not a one-size fits all solution.  Sandra suggests “start in multiple parts of the business that offer favorable conditions.”  This practice demonstrates the success of your use cases in which you can then gradually roll-out to other parts of the business.  Here is a sneak preview of five success factors to get going on embedding analytics in your organisation.

1. Work the data - but don’t over engineer it

Create the right data management strategy to achieve your analytics objectives.  Don’t over work it – “instead, be realistic and build your data and analytics capabilities in concert.”

2. Operationalise analytics in workflows and decision processes

It’s important that analytics is seamlessly integrated into daily workflows and decision processes.  And in order to scale-up analytics effectively, you must automate as much as possible to achieve speedy results.

3. Measure to build momentum

If you want to win over the skeptics who are accustomed to making decisions on gut feel, you need to measure your success that analytics delivers. “Don’t shy away from the financial targets.”

4. Focus on business as well as technical skills

Organisations should strive to develop analyst with the crossover of skills.  When embedding analytics into the organisation a marriage of soft skills (business knowledge) and technical skills is critical.

5. Change the culture as well as the processes

Most definitely the least favored is anything about change management and cultural change– but once this accepted, success will flow. This of course takes time, but as the report describes – there are specific ways to accelerate them.

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About the Author

Natalie Mendes is an Analytics Marketing Specialist at SAS, with 20 years of analytics experience in the industry.  Her primary efforts have been centered on ensuring Analytics continues to deliver market viable and industry leading outcomes by helping customers solve business problems, using the power of analytics.  Natalie covers a broad range of advanced analytics offerings and works with customers to adopt SAS technology.  Her passion is to make an impact with data and analytics.

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