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Start Your Data and Analytics Transformation Journey

We're all on a journey—customers, partners—even Oracle. Especially now, as we all adapt to a new normal and plan for the next month, quarter, and year given the challenges many of us have faced. 

If there's anything we've learned over the last few months, it's that the world is increasingly digital, maybe even in ways we'd never anticipated.  As we transform our businesses to reflect these changes, always remember that data and analytics are at the core of this transformation. How? They drive every decision, direct every action, fuel every interaction, power every process—all to achieve the impact you need to survive and thrive.  

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Ironically, even in this increasingly data-driven, data-inundated world, many organizations see data and analytics very traditionally—as a tool for analysis and reporting. Period. In my opinion, they're not seeing the forest through the trees. 

What Can You Do?

When it comes to tapping data's potential, many organizations don't know where to begin. That's where you come in.

You are the starting point for this transformation—the means to re-start the engine that enables smarter decisions (and make them more quickly), cements customer loyalty, optimizes operations, gains efficiency wherever you can, and rebuilds your organization's muscle as you face what can easily be considered a most challenging economic landscape. 

You can raise the idea of data and analytics from a bits and bytes discussion to a business-level conversation where it makes the most sense.

  • The Chief Marketing Officer needs to retain, acquire and grow customers.
  • The Chief Operating Officer needs to optimize operations and reduce areas of fraud.
  • The Chief Risk Officer must manage risk in the most creative ways possible.
  • The Chief Financial Officer must drive the organization to look for efficiencies wherever and whenever possible.
  • The Chief Information Officer needs to improve the economics of IT by challenging the status quo.
  • The Chief Executive Officer must create new and improved business models and strategically lead the organization forward in a changed world.  

The common element to all these business imperatives? Data and analytics.  It's everywhere!

What Does Your Journey Look Like?

The path to transformation can be a circuitous one—and it's not just a result: transformation can happen at any stage of the data and analytics journey.  This trek will be different for everybody... and every organization will follow its own progression. Why?

  • Every organization and every individual will have a different level of sophistication about the role of data and analytics and comfort with enabling technology to make it happen.
  • Each firm will have different goals, vision and expectations. 
  • Change starts at different points on the journey for everyone.
  • Some journeys may be like a walk in the part. Others, not so much.

Regardless of your sophistication, goals, vision, and expectation for change, each journey will have five major milestones. They are: 

  1. Identify high-value opportunities to exploit analytics on all types of structured, unstructured and real-time data.
  2. Establish the right architecture for business and IT. Determine which capabilities are most critical and what capabilities are needed to realize them. 
  3. Prove business value through proofs of concept. This is where the plan is enacted and proven.
  4. Scale by expanding to additional people and new use cases. Apply lessons learned from the initial journey.
  5. Transform to a data-driven culture

While I hate to say you can't short-circuit these steps, you really can't.  How many times have you jumped to "proving value" without clearly identifying the right opportunity? Some recent discussions with market influencers pointed out that without a stated impact (such as "grow revenue by 5 percent" or "predict workers at risk") data and analytics become an exploratory activity, not a business enabler.  Sure, exploration has a role while you determine which capabilities or architectures best suit your needs. But  it seldom leads to business value without that clarity of opportunity.

Have You Planned Your Journey?

Over the next few weeks, we'll drill deeper into some of these journey topics.  But for now, think about the big picture. It's always good to take a quick step back and survey the landscape.  Keep the end-game in mind and recognize there'll be hurdles to jump that you haven't anticipated. 

Let me know your thoughts about the journey you're on....because one thing is for certain—it's one that doesn't end.  There are always places to go and things to do.  And we're in for some fun for the foreseeable future.  Leave a comment below to get the conversation started.

To learn how you can benefit from Oracle Analytics, visit Oracle.com/analytics, and follow us on Twitter @OracleAnalytics.

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