Many organizations are starting to use the power of analytics to improve their business decisions and strategy. However, not everyone has designed the right organizational structure that can support these organizational changes.
Before companies can see the benefits of analytics, one must put in place a proper organizational system. This must happen before insights start flowing across departments, and new tools and methodologies are introduced.
In the beginning of their analytics journey, companies often do ad-hoc analytics projects. One or two departments may try few projects to solve their particular functional needs. For example, a marketing team may run a campaign to find out which clients are likely to leave. Then, a sales team would try to contact these clients before that happens. However, at this stage, the teams don’t have company-wide analytics procedures. The projects are really the result of individual activists pushing for the use of more data.
To move forward toward a consistent and comprehensive use of analytics across the company, leaders need to buid a more complete organizational system. There are three key principles that companies should follow to design the right organizational system fit for analytics.
1. Strive for unity
You can start with a few different analytics tools and systems to see which one best fits your needs and budget. However, eventually, you should decided on one system that everyone has agreed on and knows how to use.
Some companies make a mistake of getting stuck for too long using both old and new tools. This may lead to duplicate information or even worse to a loss of data. That’s why when a company decides to implement a new analytics system, everyone should get on board, as one system is needed for the single source of truth.
2. Integrate data from multiple sources
To get a full picture, one must obtain data from all available sources, otherwise, the true power of analytics won’t be possible. Be they quantitative or qualitative sources of data, find ways to feed them into your analytics. There is an exponential amount of data available, make a proper use of it.
3. Design for end users
When designing the organization’s analytics system always think about the end users, people who will be actually using the tools and services on a daily basis. One essential factor here is to integrate the needs and desires of the business and technical teams within an organization. This way everyone can participate in a company’s analytics journey.
For example, do not get the best and latest tool that a technical team may suggest, if the finance department hasn’t bought into the tool yet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the best and latest (and expensive) tool dusting on the shelf.
Overall, when designing the organizational system for analytics, remember that everyone should have access to one system and use it for their particular purpose. The system should act as the glue that holds together all pieces of your organization.