Analytics Shouldn’t Be Complicated

Enterprises of all sizes should be using data to drive their business decisions. Yet, many businesses are lagging behind the business intelligence made available by data analytics. This is largely due to one massive misconception: Analytics is too complicated.

Fortunately, analytics can be simplified. It all depends on using the right tools and finding and hiring the right talent.

Don’t Overcomplicate the Analytics

According to a 2014 article in CIO magazine “C-Level Execs Value Data, Have No Idea What to Do With It,” most C-Level executives are at a complete loss when it comes to what to do with their data. Even though this was reported over three years ago, an eternity in business, it holds true with many organizations. Most businesses have yet to truly leverage their data through analytics.

Over the past few years, petabytes of data have been accumulated by enterprises of all sizes that have the potential to improve the customer experience and business operations. However, a recent report by Dun and Bradstreet with Forbes Insights discovered that 45 percent of surveyed companies are even pursuing data analytics as a business strategy.

There are several factors that lead businesses to not properly utilize their data:

  • Access to talent
  • Enough resources
  • Lack of using the right tools
  • No clarity on where to start

Large Enterprises Are Making the Most of Analytics

You don’t have to look far to find information about the benefits of leveraging data to drive business decisions. However, it’s only the biggest firms and the early adopters who seem to be doing the best work with analytics. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report from December 2016 entitled “The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Drive World”:

“The leading firms have a remarkable depth of analytical talent deployed on a variety of problems — and they are actively looking for ways to enter other industries. These companies can take advantage of their scale and data insights to add new business lines, and those expansions are increasingly blurring traditional sector boundaries.”

Fortunately for small- to medium-size businesses, this advantage doesn’t have to last. Firms of all sizes within all industries can — and should — execute strategies guided by data analytics to make business decisions and pursue customer-focused initiatives.

You Need the Right Talent to Leverage Analytics Properly

Having the right talent within your organization is vital to leveraging analytics to guide business decisions. The same McKinsey report revealed that 50 percent of executives stated that finding analytical talent was harder than finding talent in other areas of the business. Additionally, 40 percent noted that retention was an issue since there was intense competition for data and analytically inclined talent.

Another challenge facing businesses is clarifying which type of talent is required to execute the full spectrum of analytics strategy. Executing a complex analytics strategy requires the following types of employees:

  • Data Engineers (Wranglers). These employees implement systems to ensure the necessary data is captured and stored.
  • Decision Scientists and Business Analysts. It’s required to identify which data is useful and relevant to business decisions, and that’s what these employees do best. They’ll analyze data to answer key questions related to your business growth.
  • Business Intelligence Developers. These developers create impactful data visualizations and implement business intelligence tools.
  • Data Interpreters and Storytellers. Data scientists and analysts who can effectively present data-driven outcomes to the decision makers.

Unfortunately, smaller organizations struggle to justify allocating resources throughout all of the above areas, especially if the benefits of doing so are unclear.

According to the Harvard Business Review, not having the right company culture in place is an additional hindrance to the adoption of data analytics. HBR recommends having a small team focused entirely on data analytics to help provide information to decision makers.

There Are Tools to Help, But They Often Make Matters Worse

On top of the lack of having the right talent and understanding how to make data-driven decisions, the growing number of tools only serve to add complexity, which is likely a driver of slow adoption. According to the same D&B report:

“Roughly one-quarter of respondents are still using spreadsheets as their primary means for data work, while 17% are only using dashboards that go little beyond spreadsheets. Additionally, only 41% use predictive models and/or advanced analytical and forecasting techniques.”

This quote is emblematic of why progress has yet to come in analytics. Most organizations understand its importance, yet they lack the ability to execute decisions based on data.

Take the First Step to Translate Data Into Action

All of the challenges that face businesses are why we started Chisel Analytics.

Our core mission is to break down the barriers to making data-driven decisions. We’re focused on finding you the right talent and the right tools you’ll need to execute an effective analytics strategy. Our unique platform is designed to facilitate analytics efforts for companies of all types.

Additionally, we’re creating a pool of talent that is accessible at the scale you need to tackle the analytics and data challenges you have, or simply to help you get started.

Together, we can work help your business make data-driven decisions that will help guide the growth of your business.

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