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Putting People back in the Golden Triangle
July 8, 2019 Big Data Analytics

by CK Tan, Director, Industry Solutions, Asia Pacific, Qlik 

The infamous golden triangle of People, Process and Technology, has long been used by many organisations as a formula for their Data and Analytics transformative initiatives to consider the different aspects of changes in the organisations. After being involved in many of such customer projects, I’m surprised how often the People element is being ignored. According to Gartner, 91% of organisations have not reached the transformative level of maturity and here are my thoughts as to why:

Invest in People

Organisations tend to focus mainly on Process and Technology, overlooking People, which is the most crucial element in the golden triangle. They spent so much of their time, effort and dollars on integrating data and deploying new tools to their users that they have neglected the users themselves. Very often, these Data and Analytics initiatives and projects have failed to achieve the enterprise-wide adoption to drive business value, and which they sought to look for ways to encourage user adoptions. Instead, companies should start with People to establish a culture of data trust by building a data literacy strategy and subsequently, a data strategy for managing data –improving the access, sharing, and the use of data in the business. United Overseas Bank, a leading bank in Singapore and Qlik customer, has started their transformation journey by placing Data Literacy at the core of its operations, leading to a change in its approach to data requirements and internal structures. To date, they have trained hundreds of employees and look to expand their training programs to international subsidiaries as they sought to grow in the region.

Don’t get Sidetracked

Many companies still look to technology as the change catalyst, and as technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning advances, business and technology teams can easily get sidetracked by new innovations such as a black-box machine learning system that promised to provide results directly to users, and subsequently, they lost focus on the People element. Instead, organisations should look into technology that aims to complement the users to help them become faster and smarter during their interactions with data. Qlik combines cognitive machine learning with our patented Associative Indexing Technology to provide guidance and assistance during their decision-making process. For example, users can make use of natural language search in a chatbot or analytics applications to intuitively ask questions and get immediate answers, thus removing the complexity of understanding how to build their own visualisations.

Solving the Last Mile issue

Many of these projects are not delivering the expected outcomes in user adoption and producing value to the people. A key reason is that many organisations build analytics from bottom-up and collect data in hope that people will start using them during their decision-making process. As a result, most of the data collected were not being utilised, and they ended up working outside the system. A right approach is to sit down with each user, understand their strategic needs and how they will look for data to satisfy those requirements. To this end, Lloyd’s of London, one of the oldest insurance companies in the world have established a data lab to provide advice and training to its users to increase their productivity, and more importantly, enhance their understanding on how analytics can help them.

Organisational transformation is a journey, but it is the People who will make it successful and sustainable. As you embark on your own change initiative, put People and their needs first before taking any actions and build a data literacy and analytics strategy to guide you through the journey.