To leverage analytics is difficult to accomplish. Even though we talk about the benefits of data analytics, we have not mentioned that all organisations have to go through a grace period where they must adopt a data analytics platform. We are not just talking about technical aspects to incorporate – organisations must also address managerial and structural issues before they successfully integrate analytics into their business operations. In this blog post, I will discuss the challenges of leveraging analytics businesses have encountered.
Key challenges to leverage analytics
Investing in the latest tech without a clear goal
Many executives think throwing money at the technology causing the latest buzz is enough to leverage analytics. However, my experience tells me that investing in the latest technology will get you nowhere fast. Though I extolled the virtues of NLP and machine learning, they are not going to change your business for the better. To successfully adopt your analytics environment, you need to have a clear vision and direction for your organisation and select the best technology that will get you to your goals. Your organisation may not benefit from AI, but it will benefit from descriptive analytics software.
Finding the right talent and platform
To leverage analytics, you need the right talent and the right platform. Finding the right talent is proving to be very difficult because there are not as many data scientists going around. Besides having to deal with an exorbitantly high salary cap, you also have to find someone with the right skill set. Finding the right platform is also proving to be a challenge. While we wholeheartedly advocate for SAS, there are many SAS platforms to choose from. For example, is SAS Analytics Accelerator for Teradata needed or is SAS Asset Performance Analytics better suited to your goals?
Data analytics has the potential to transform how an organisation works, but only if it is properly integrated into company operations. For that to happen, there needs to be an initiative from the bottom all the way to the top and vice versa. Top-down mandates alone will not encourage organisations to use analytics at all levels. However, without mandates from the top, analytics would not be implemented without approval from the top-level. To truly leverage analytics, there needs to be cooperation between employees on all levels from the C-suites to ground level employees. In my experience, the best place to start with an internal assessment to uncover those who have experience with analytics. Talent assessment is also an excellent way to find out if there is a shortage of talent.
Organisational changes do not happen overnight. Organisations start with making small changes, for example, one department at a time. However, many organisations struggle to transform their organisation in any meaningful way because building on successes and gathering momentum is very difficult to do, especially in a large corporation (the ones who are most likely going to benefit from analytics). Gathering momentum takes a lot of resources and coordination amongst personnel. But to leverage analytics, organisations need to start somewhere, and the best place to start is in departments that need it the most – i.e. IT, marketing and finance. Once one of these departments realises the tremendous potential of analytics, then it can be transferred to other parts of the organisation.
Ask for the right help
Leveraging analytics to its full potential not only takes time but the right expertise. This is especially the case with closed-source languages like SAS analytics. To make sure that analytics is custom-built for this environment, organisations need to work with a team of SAS experts and consultants. Working with the right team makes it easier to optimise the analytics environment to meet business objectives so that only relevant metrics are measured. The right team can optimise the data analytics framework to gain additional benefits, like operational efficiency and efficient ways of sharing data.
Make the most out of data analytics
Leveraging analytics requires the mobilisation of resources, both technical and human. It is not the same as a software update, which can be plugged and played in an instant. Instead, data analytics is a technical, disciplinary discipline that can transform how an organisation works. If organisations want to make the most out of analytics, then they need to plan and analyse how they will oversee this transition.