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Enterprises will create a culture of data for all
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December 21, 2018 data analytics

by Leslie Ong, Southeast Asia Country Manager, Tableau Software


Actionable analytics put data in context
In my previous post I discussed how the trend of smart analytics is lowering barriers to adoption by making it accessible to more people, with fewer skills required. This week we will look at the shift that will happen in 2019 to encourage this adoption. 

Data workers need their data and actions in the same place. Rather than performing analysis in one silo and taking action in another, anyone who works with data should be able to stay in the context of their business processes and workflows. Business Intelligence (BI) platforms are meeting this need by merging with core business operations, workflows, and processes through capabilities like mobile analytics, embedded analytics, dashboard extensions (also known as add-ins), and APIs. Embedded analytics puts data and insights where people are already working so they do not need to navigate to another application or shared server, while dashboard extensions bring access to other systems right into the dashboard. Mobile analytics puts data directly into the hands of people in the field. As a result, actionable analytics are expediting the decision-making process for both technical and non-technical roles.

The act of putting analytics in context carries even more impact as it helps to customise the analytics to a specific line of business or industry. The convergence of analytics and action will shorten the time and effort between insight and decision-making. It will also make data more widely available within business workflows, encouraging more people to incorporate data into everyday decisions.

 Enterprises get smarter about analytics adoption

What happens when leaders focus less on adoption and more on engagement?

BI initiatives often have a well-defined start and end date and it’s not uncommon for them to be considered “complete” after they are rolled out to users. But merely providing access to business intelligence solutions isn’t the same as adoption. Chief Data Officers, primarily, are re-evaluating how BI adoption plays a part in a strategic shift towards modernisation, because true value isn’t measured by the solution you deploy, but how your workforce uses the solution to impact the business.

The assumption that everyone is getting value out of a BI platform just because they have access to it can actually be an inhibitor to real progress with analytics. Instead of adoption in its simplest terms, leaders are focusing on whether or not data and analytics are changing the way that decisions are made throughout the organisation. For example, if you took the BI platform away from employees, would it impact the way they make day to day decisions in their job?

Leaders are evaluating programs that encourage engagement, like internal communities and user groups. These efforts, once considered grassroots programs, will be considered fundamental elements of an organisation’s BI strategy, helping users ramp up faster, self-serve, and get answers to their questions quickly. Adoption follows as a result, driving leaders to increase their investment and help communities to scale.

As these internal communities onboard workers onto a BI platform, organisations can start to delegate analytical responsibilities and create new user champions. This will ultimately reduce the heavy lifting for maintenance and reporting, traditionally reserved for IT. More internal champions will start to emerge, acting as subject matter experts who socialise best practices and align people on data definitions. Inevitably, these movements will lead to more people using and getting value out of BI software. And, most importantly, your workforce will become more efficient and your organisation more competitive.

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