INSIGHT: How NZ businesses can develop a winning analytics strategy

Now more than ever, organisations of all types and sizes across New Zealand are adopting analytics for insights to better decision making.

Now more than ever, organisations of all types and sizes are adopting analytics for insights to better decision making.

However, unless adoption is backed by the right strategy, the outcome won’t necessarily deliver the advantages sought.

The strategy challenge starts with managements being able to clearly articulate what they want to achieve.

Without that clarity, organisations risk development outcomes that will be delayed, over-budget, incomplete, miss the right areas, or turn out to be not much better than experience-based gut-feel.

In addition to clearly knowing what they want to achieve, organisations must be confident they can deploy the resources required for successful adoption; that, while the project is underway, it won’t adversely impact day-to-day operations; and that the end objective is realistic.

It’s all too easy to get things wrong by being overly ambitious.

There are three core issues to be considered at the outset.

Take analytics adoption one step at a time:

When organisations recognise they are missing opportunities without analytics, there is an understandable tendency to want to hurry and play catch-up. This is a big mistake.

Being late is much less of a problem than aiming for a level of analytics sophistication that can be attained in small, manageable steps over time. A far better approach is to start with modest objectives and then build incrementally from a solid foundation.

Avoid the temptation to seek the added benefits of advanced business analytics before bedding down an initial implementation.

Less capable but equally robust analytics levels can still produce good and reliable business outcomes to get the organisation into the game.

Going for broke at the outset is high risk for both the organisation and the individual managers involved. Statistically, the odds will be against them and the return might be no better than money back.

Design the strategy for an analytics outcome that can actually be used:

It is not uncommon for analytics late-starters to strategise for functionality they won’t be able to take advantage of in the nearer term.

As with addressing analytics capabilities one step at a time, implementers should concentrate first on analyses outcomes to support functionality for operations that are already mature.

There is no point in designing real-time time functionality for organisational processes that will be unable to take full advantage of it; or indeed, to support organisational change that is yet to happen.

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