The Boy Who Cried Analytics

The Boy Who Cried Analytics

Wolf and CPS AnalyticsThey were all chanting as they crowded around the IT director's office with pitchforks and stacks of stale, paper reports:

"We want analytics, and we want them now!!! We want analytics, and we want them now!!!"  

In a time when there is more data than we can imagine (90% of the world's data was created in the last two years… two years!), the demand for "analytics" and "insights" is becoming more and more prevalent. Companies are recognizing that "doing things the way they have always been done" and making decisions on "gut feel" is leaving them behind their competition. 


We live in a time where companies are looking to move day-to-day operations out of the IT department, and into the hands of the people using the data to make decisions. This term is called: Self Service Analytics.  


It's a fast-paced world. On-demand services are exploding. We have more data and information at our fingertips than ever before. The time it takes for me to ask someone in IT for a report, only to have changed my mind about how I want to see the data before I get the original report, is wasting valuable time. This roadblock can be removed if a user has the ability to explore and analyze data with the click of a mouse.   


So what does all of this mean? That there is a great opportunity to empower your employees and get ahead of the competition.  


Then the IT Director yelled at the data-craving employees:
"Here, log on to this site with this fancy dashboard and leave me alone!"  


This is a common approach many companies are taking to provide analytics to their employees. Roll out one of the hundreds of business intelligence (BI) tools that exist on the market and BOOM, your company is data driven. However, what is being found is that employees, without the proper education and training, are failing to truly maximize the power of these tools. 


It is great that companies are recognizing that data needs to be served up to the broader audience, with a single source of truth to drive results. However, it is a common misconception that simply deploying a BI tool will help achieve business goals. 


"Wow, these dashboards have so many colors and graphs, now I can uncover insights and accelerate the business"… said very few of the employees. 


What some companies are missing in all of this is a very important, arguably the most important, factor: HUMANS. Tools don't make decisions for us. Technology is there to bring together multiple sources of data and give you a way to analyze that data. Humans are responsible for deeply understanding the data: where it came from, how it was collected, why it was collected that way, and interpreting what it means.


Employees have to be data literate which means they are comfortable and confident in analyzing data and making decisions.  


We want to deploy self-service analytics… but how? It means that the road for a company to become truly data-informed and utilize their data as an asset is not as simple as rolling out a tool. It means companies must look closely at their employees and find ways to empower them to grow within their roles, through education and development. It means leaders have to recognize the opportunity and be willing to invest for the long term. It means "self-service analytics" is a journey, and there are many things to consider along the way.  


We’re here to help - no one should have to face this journey alone. If you want to talk, share your concerns, or simply learn more about the complex world of data and analytics, reach out to me for a conversation.  


Schedule a meeting with Trevor


Posted: 10/07/2019 10:55:43 AM by Trevor Cohen | with 0 comments

Filed under: Business Analytics, Digital Transformation, Future-proofed, Data and Analytics

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