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Analytics - The Sexy Side of Data

Written by Corinium

Analytics - The Sexy Side of Data

Written by Corinium on Oct 2, 2015 12:17:00 PM

Analytics

Ok – I admit it, that title was designed to get your attention…and it did right?! Analytics is sexy! Organisations want to utilise it, data professionals want to work in it and everyone is scrambling to see who will champion it within their business. In a recent Teradata-Forbes Insights survey, 67% of respondents surveyed said that Big Data and analytics are having a significant and positive impact on their revenues, and 21% of these said that it was the most important factor in gaining a competitive advantage. So, how can businesses leverage the power of big data analytics and who should be responsible for it?

 
Over the past few years, we have seen organisations putting data at the forefront of their digital transformations with the appointment of the Chief Data Officer in many data-rich industries such as financial services and insurance. Whilst the CDO is spearheading tactical data management, increasingly the need for turning that data into a strategic asset is growing. As more and more organisations are aspiring to leverage their data to generate actionable insights and competitive advantage, the need for a C-Suite role to champion this is growing – enter the Chief Analytics Officer (CAO).
 
The CAO aims to help enterprises leverage Big Data by designing curated experiences for the entire business that map data in ways that inform business choices, and move the power of data into the hands of business decision-makers. In short, the CAO is about creating real business value through data analytics and promoting the company’s data-driven culture.
 
Companies who have experimented with analytics, perhaps appointing analytics professionals within specific business functions, are the prime candidates to benefit from the leadership of CAO. With a joined up, strategic approach to analytics across the business as a whole, this means that they can benefit from the collective insights of a wider team and look at, not just the granular departmental issues or reporting needs of a specific department, but issues that affect the wider business as a whole.
 
The CAO role is very much in its infancy and the full scope of responsibilities is still ill-defined, however the role is gaining traction, and companies that have established data and analytics positions at the CxO level are more likely to have above average data analytics capabilities. Through our research, The CAO Forum found that the top worries for CAOs is whether data and analytics are going to meet expectations (27.8%), gaining internal support and adoption (22.2%) and which organisational models work best ( 22.2%). Also through speaking with leading CAOs we found that one of the top challenges being faced by CAOs today is fostering a data-driven culture within their organisation. The hunger for insights to drive informed business decisions is there but a data-driven approach is not universally accepted. There is also the concern that once the knowledge has been garnered that this will not be communicated effectively to the rest of the business, creating an additional barrier to gaining company-wide buy-in and utilising those insights for business growth and competitive advantage.
 
So how can these challenges be overcome? How can analytical insights be communicated to all levels of the business effectively and how do you get internal stakeholders to buy in to the big data and analytics journey? A leading CAO said to me recently that data is the new bacon, and who doesn’t love bacon? If analytics isn’t seen as sexy within your organisation then make it sexy, show people how it can make their jobs easier and how it can make your business more profitable, small incremental changes can sometimes have the biggest impact.
 
Whichever way you look at it, analytics is sexy and with the potential to revolutionise not just the way you interact with your customers, but the way in which you do business as a whole. The possibilities are endless.
 
If you feel your hunger for knowledge growing and want to leverage your data assets, then you are going to need to move over and make room at your boardroom table, as the Chief Analytics Officer is the person for the job and, I believe, here to stay.
 
The role of the Chief Analytics Officer and its growing importance will be explored in greater detail at the 2016 Chief Analytics Officer Forum series, kicking off in New York City next January.
 

Vicky Anderson is the Content Director US/Europe for the CAO Forum. Vicky is the organiser of the inaugural CAO forum, consulting with the industry about their key challenges and trying to find exciting and innovative ways to bring people together to address those issues – the CAO Forum is launching in New York, London and San Francisco. For enquiries email: vicky.anderson@coriniumintelligence.com

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