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Realizing the value of analytics


Panel discussion with SAS, Accenture, Marriott talking about how to execute a business analytics strategy. Panels are hard to blog but here are some of the interesting points made:

  • Critical question is how to drive insight to action and make a difference to their business.
  • Analytics is a pervasive change in management theory
  • Enterprise-wide customer intelligence is the killer app for analytics in B2C companies.
  • Next generation performance management  needs predictive analytics to be part of the environment.
  • Important to push analytics into transactional systems and business processes to maximize the value of these existing IT assets (this was one of the key drivers of the SAS/Accenture partnership for instance).
  • Critical to adopt a data-driven, analytic culture top to bottom, to keep senior leaders focused on analytic decision making, and to recognize the importance of organizational change.
  • Some companies are consumed by getting their arms around their data – the what – and now need to look further and say “so-what” and “now-what”.
  • To embed analytics and analytic decision making in operational processes and systems, organizations must embed the analytic team (the quants) in their operations
  • Not one way to assign analytical talent – could be close to business problem (e.g. in marketing department) or in IT or in an analytic group. Be pragmatic.
  • Make sure your analytic organization matches your overall organization – don’t centralize analytic talent if your organization is very decentralized, for instance.

Great closing thoughts from Marriott:

  • Start with a strong IT/business/analytic relationship
  • Getting the leadership team and culture to agree on the metrics that matter is really important and is a process
  • Be relentless about ongoing improvement

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