I've been to my share of data and analytics conferences over the past few years, and the mood of the audience has been... let's just say, "interesting." The pendulum has shifted to the business camp. These folks value an unencumbered freedom to explore and analyze data anytime, anywhere, any way. Any mention of IT elicits snickering laughs.
IT staff, who want to help business teams by enabling them with the best governed data and reusable artifacts, admit they are sometimes relegated to "old business intelligence," and wonder aloud, "Am I relevant anymore?" They are hoping that the pendulum is going to swing back to IT centricity.
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Well, business and IT, it's time to stop the "Who's in charge?" debate. Recognize that it takes both business and IT leadership to tackle the data andchallenges within your organization. If you assess your firm's data and analytics maturity against any of the many maturity frameworks out there, you will quickly recognize that there's a lot of room for growth and innovation to be truly insight-driven.
It requires support, trust, and mutual goals to both evaluate and deploy the right products and services for your organization. Gartner analyst, Jorgen Heisenberg, recently published a solid research note entitled,. If you're a Gartner client, it's well worth reading.
Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of enterprises seeking the best practices to align everyone in the organization toward a common purpose—exploiting data andsystems to optimize business outcomes. And in my opinion, the surest way to foster that alignment is with an Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE). It can be formal or a working group. It can be led by business, by IT, or jointly led. Sometimes, that leader might be a Chief Data Officer (CDO). Who leads is not the central question.
The purpose of the ACE is collaboration and cooperation toward a common set of goals—ideally articulated and agreed to in a strategy "manifesto"—available for all to see, understand, and follow. Sometimes, even debate is necessary to get to the clarity of direction. I often think of this manifesto as a "constitution" for data and analytics. And like any constitution, it needs to adapt and change over time, not become a set of principles that are unbending and restrict innovation.
While we often focus on data and analytics tools and technologies and which are "best," it's the people and processes, along with the right organizational support, that make the biggest difference to move the discussion from "Who's in charge?" to "How do we work best together?"
Click on the image of the data sheet below and see how this collaboration can change the way you work.
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