The Decision Maker

The Gap is Widening – Part 2

Posted by Aaron Wang on Mar 2, 2012 9:12:44 AM

In my last post I discussed Analytics: The Widening Divide, an October 211 study published by MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM.

The primary study finding showed that sophisticated users were increasingly using analytics to create competitive advantage. Among the distinctive competencies was Information Management.

Information Management was defined as:

The use of methodologies, techniques, and technologies that address data architecture, extraction, transformation, movement, storage, integration, and governance of enterprise information and master data management.


In practice, organizations that displayed an excellent competency in this area were skilled at obtaining, integrating, and storing information from many sources AND making that information available across the organization at all levels.

A crucial element in achieving this level of excellence was establishment of a “common architecture” within which data could be easily integrated, moved, and stored. This is often is accomplished under the heading of Master Data Management (MDM), a centralized approach data quality and standardization across the enterprise.

A key piece of effective MDM is data governance which the study defines as “a structured management approach designed to track strategic objectives against the allocation of analytical resources”.

Basing a well-designed Information Management strategy on these building blocks, users across the organization have a high level of confidence they will have the right information they need to support decisions ranging from long-range strategy to daily operational issues.

Companies with a strong information foundation are able to tackle business objectives critical to the future of the entire enterprise. Their robust data foundation makes it possible to capture, combine and use information from many sources, and disseminate it so that individuals throughout the organization can, and virtually at every level, have access to it. This ability to integrate information across functions and business silos is a hallmark of the Transformed Organizations which are 4.9 times more likely to do this well than the aspirational group

The information management competency involves expertise in a variety of techniques for managing data and developing a common architecture for integration portability and storage. In a world where the quantity of data continues to rise astoundingly, standards for data quality must be established with rigorous consistency across all business units and functions. Is data being extracted from disparate data sources, both internal and external ,accurately and thoroughly? Can it be used by multiple business units and functions? Is it compatible with existing processes? Can it be managed in real-time or nearly so.?

This competency involves rigorous approach to data governance, a structured management approach designed to track strategic objectives against the allocation of analytical resources. Decision makers at every level of the organization can then be confident they have the right information to do their job s effectively and make informed decisions using analytics to guide day-to-day operations and future strategies.

Transformed organizations effectively manage data (percent proficient, Transformed vs aspirations)

Capability: solid information foundation
Integrate data effectively - 74% versus 15%
Capture data effectively – 80% versus 29%

Capability: Standardized data management practices
Use a structured prioritization process for project selection - 80% versus 45%
Use business rules effectively - 73% versus 39%

Capability: Insights accessible and available
Make information readily accessible to employees - 65% versus 21%
Make insights readily available to all employees - 63% versus 16%

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Topics: Data Analytics