Gartner Inc has said that although advanced analytics require new tools and skills, it is also essential for companies to bring about mindset and culture change. For businesses failing to prioritise these, any strategy will be marred with a fatal flaw; in fact, Gartner suggests that of the big data projects scheduled for 2017, up to 60% of them will fail to progress past piloting and experimentation and, as a result, will be abandoned.
Gartner’s research director, Lisa Kart, stated: “Many business intelligence (BI) and analytics leaders are unsure how to get started with advanced analytics, and many organisations feel they must make a significant investment in new tools and skills. But a successful advanced analytics strategy is about more than simply acquiring the right tools. It's also important to change mindsets and culture, and to be creative in search of success.”
In an effort to help businesses correctly progress their projects, Gartner has outlined four best practices. These can be used by analytical and BI leaders to help initiatives get off the ground.
Firstly, it is advised that firms choose to run a project that offers a quick win to an identified problem. These could be in areas such as tactical decision making, day-to-day operation decisions or even infrequent strategic decisions. It is vital, however, to identify a key issue so that data can be tailored towards solving the problem.
Secondly, in cases where firms lack the skills of advanced analytics, Gartner suggests buying packaged apps or outsourcing the work. A lot of businesses believe their project’s success revolves around a central BI team; however, quick wins can be gained by outsourcing work to experts or abandoning in-house tools in favour of better software options.
As part of the third stage, it is essential for stakeholders to be convinced that advanced analytics are extremely valuable. There are always sceptics within a firm, but having these decision makers on board is vital if projects are to come to a successful resolution. Ms Kart stated: “Frequently, the success of advanced analytics initiatives comes down to the ability not only to deliver the analytics or communicate their value, but also to create a data-driven culture.”
Finally, firms need to address whether they want to build tools and skills internally via a build strategy or use outsourcers and packaged apps as a default.
In a world where data is everything, it is essential to turn to such information when strategic planning; however, as Gartner suggests, it may not only be the tools and software that need changing but also internal culture and thinking.
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