Our decades of experience provide us with unique insights into the best practices and core beliefs of some of the most successful analytics and business intelligence implementations in the world.
Through these experiences, we have developed a number of philosophies which are rooted in how we approach analytics, engage our customers, and deliver our services.
Our Fundamental Principles:
Business Led – Technology Enabled
Analytics and business intelligence should be business led and technology enabled. From our experience, too many BI efforts start with the selection of a tool, long before the business problem has been identified and understood. Taking this approach leads to unnecessarily large investments with little realized return and solution adoption. Although important, technology should ultimately be viewed as a means to a greater end – enabling better business decisions, insights and actions.
Information as an Asset
Like your people, production, or distribution capabilities, information should be recognized and treated like a critical asset of your business. Yet, many organizations do not have a plan and organization model necessary to manage information holistically. Investment decisions in information are often made project-by-project and lack the big picture view required by the organization to gain maximum leverage. Addressing this issue requires a program level approach to analytics and BI.
Business and Technology Alignment
Successful BI requires strong alignment between business and technology leaders and staff. This partnership requires clear senior sponsorship from both sides to set direction, deal with issues and drive real changes in the organization. Through formal or informal governance, leaders must work closely to ensure plans are followed and benefits are realized by the business.
Strategic and Tactical Balance
Long-term analytics and business intelligence success comes from a balanced approach that includes strategic planning and tactical execution activities. This balanced approach requires a strong vision and roadmap for analytics complemented by the ability to execute projects effectively and incrementally.
Iterative – Value Driven
Iterative analytics project delivery mitigates the need for large investment risk and resource commitments. An iterative approach makes scope management feasible. Incremental value delivery creates visible success for BI that creates momentum and allows the organization to adopt solutions and deal with organizational change at a realistic and acceptable pace.
Prototyping to Prove the Value
Whenever possible, rapid prototyping should be used to prove the analytic solution’s value. Prototyping can serve many other purposes from educating users on what’s possible with analytics to helping define requirements for the solution. Furthermore, proof of value prototypes ensure you are solving the right business problems, have alignment, and are willing to change your decision-making processes before making significant investments in production solutions.
Change Management Focus
Driving adoption of your analytics program first requires an understanding of the organizational impact analytics and business intelligence can have on your business processes, decision-making capabilities and culture. Once understood, it is necessary to proactively manage the change by anticipating and planning for the appropriate levels of communication, education, training, and leadership involvement. This approach ensures broad solution adoption can be achieved and sustained.
Quality Execution and Transparent Communication
Sustaining analytics success requires a commitment to quality (data, process, and product) and transparent communication. Ultimately, leaders and analytics consumers must trust the solutions they are using and the people providing them. Without data and organizational integrity, obtaining ongoing investment in and gaining adoption for your analytics program becomes unachievable.