In October 2011 MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM published a study called Analytics: The Widening Divide. The study noted a number of competencies sophisticated organizations were using to create competitive advantage.
An important competency was deploying new analytics tools and skills.
Analytics technology is rapidly evolving. Even though a particular technology has worked well over the long run, it pays to stay aware of the latest innovations. Organizations that are more aggressive in using newer analytical tools find they are able to get more out of their existing data. Newer tools tend to provide more and faster ways to access and visualize data thereby allowing more complete use of available information.
One particular innovation accomplished practitioners are using is “embedded” analytics. These are algorithms or other expressions of business rules built into routine processes or transactions. The end results are automated actions that previously required human intervention. Better data capture for further analysis is another output of this improvement.
Central to creating and maintaining this continuous analytic upgrade capability is the presence of an analytics champion. This is defined as those who:
“… initiate and guide activities by sharing their expertise to seed the use of analytics throughout the enterprise”
Attributes of such champions are:
- Have a comprehensive understanding of the business.
- Know what it takes to establish an analytics capability in an organization.
- Can identify and recruit resources for ongoing support of analytical competency