In today’s uncertain business environment, created by a pandemic that has touched every corner of the globe, the ability to understand financial and operational performance in real-time is critical.
Organisation that are “insight driven” will be best placed to grow when normal economic conditions emerge. An insight driven organisation will stand a far greater chance of maintaining their cashflow, keeping touch with customer base and keep a close eye on the operational metrics that will make the most significant contribution to their performance.
Some insight driven organisations will even take the offensive and grow market share, confident in their ability to scale while delivering on customer experience.
A shift towards an being “insight driven” organisation has been gaining momentum. Leaders are effectively using insights to capture value by moving from an industry view of profitability and strategy to one that is specific to their organisation and market position. They fine tune operations to optimize for the current environment and execute tactics to pull ahead of their competitors.
Companies trying to emulate the success of insight driven organisations quite often fall into several traps. Many organisations have democratised data and reporting, utilising the latest visualisation tools that have lowered the technical barrier to enable self-service analytics and visualisation, but to what end? Many analysts now spend hours performing data wrangling tasks to derive countless insights but fail to capture the value these opportunities represent.
The data visualisation explosion has highlighted a number of organisational challenges including data literacy, quality and governance. One must also question the value of constant “data wrangling”. An increasing amount of organisational time is now spent on once off data wrangling activities as the number of analysts proliferate. There is certainly a lot of value that can be attained from these visualisation tools. Thankfully, vendors are quickly addressing the gaps that will enable the appropriate governance to manage and repeat these processes.
Are we guilty of falling in love with the latest shiny toy? Too often the answer is yes! In this case it can distract us from allocating precious analytics resources and skills to the business levers that will return the most value. Business alignment is always key. That’s why we have KPIs, to focus us on the “Key” levers that drive business performance so that we understand how much to pull them, in what direction and when.
When considering any form of data related transformation or change, we tend to focus on:
- Reviewing the organisations ability to capture value from their current analytics investments (people, process and technology)
- Understanding current and future business drivers orientating the organisation towards a data driven strategy
- Building an operating model, governance and capability that ensures sustainable business outcomes
- Aligning and simplifying processes and technology to enable a common, consistent and collaborative approach to answering key business questions with data
- Identifying new opportunities to drive down costs and grow revenue
As operational cost is scrutinised like never before, spending on data capability is unlikely to avoid the spotlight. Hard actionable insights that are aligned to business priorities and can be easily implemented are what is needed right now. Demonstrating your ability to do this, rather than investing in the latest shiny toy, will help build long lasting business relationships that will embed an insight driven approach to business performance.