The ascent of analytics: A rundown

ICT leaders share their experiences on propelling data analytics to the frontline of decision-making.



How do you get the message across to the Board and your executive peers?

Read more: CIO Upfront: Breakthrough or middle ground?


Claire Govier, Kiwibank:

Data analytics can join the dots and bring things together into stories and facts that has not been done before.

Traditionally in banking, the analytical and operational teams were not necessarily hooked up, or were working in different parts of the organisation, creating different data sets for very different purposes.

It comes down to sharing data and information to really improve the story and insight behind the decisions. Analytics is helping break down those internal barriers.

A few years ago, I was working for a large bank overseas and there was a real challenge within the data warehouse team. We needed massive investment to link some analytical databases and operational data tools to try to get a level to fit and match, for marketing and legal purposes.

Traditionally we’d go to the board and write a 30- to 40-page paper and try to explain to somebody what the customer data is and why we needed to spend money on it. We could not tell them what the return of investment would be.

We had a few attempts but we did not even get to the board. We went through filters, review teams and the finance department. We eventually talked to somebody who had great success in taking papers through the board.

Instead of taking a 30-page business case, we took six slides to the board, as we were only allowed to take six slides. We showed what was happening to our credit card customers who were constantly bombarded with mail campaigns and offers from us. We used the data and the facts in a way the board would understand and hit them where it hurts in terms of risk and reputation.

Data analytics can join the dots and bring things together into stories and facts that has not been done before.

Claire Govier, Kiwibank


We were able to tell the story from the outside in, from a customer point of view. We wanted money for this enterprise facility and suddenly it made sense. We did get the money for this and a couple of other projects as well.

So find a way to save money or reduce your risk, and find a champion and tell the story in their terms. In this case, it was about revenue.

At a practical level, first of all recognise how important your roles are to your organisations and understand that you may well be ahead of the game in terms of the knowledge and insights, things you can see.

With that, find a voice. And if your area does not have a strong voice or a sponsor, go find one. Find someone who cares.

The key thing for me is the ‘so what?’ aspect of it. We know this, we found this out, but ‘so what’? Find somebody who gives a damn and work with them.

Carmen Casagranda, Cigna:

Business intelligence is one of the fastest growing industries globally right now. It is using the brilliant minds of the people in this room to actually help decipher what is valuable and pass it on to the people who need it in the organisation – whether frontline, backroom or executive level.

All of us here understand analytics and the importance of data. The world has changed and 30-page business case requirements are hard to sell. If you want to sell your vision, less is more. Turn data into a story and make it real.

Sell the story. By saying we are doing this analysis to generate insight and business value,you sell the story of why the organisation needs to invest in these tools. That will enable you to find the driving sponsor. By doing that, you can sell the vision of what everybody else is doing – getting great insights from analytics.

I anticipate data analytics will become a ubiquitous boardroom topic in every major organisation.

David Bowie, SAS


David Bowie, SAS:

Analytics is having a significant impact on the investor and business landscape. There is a growing recognition that analytics can influence business strategy and have an impact on the share price of listed companies.

In the next few years, I anticipate data analytics will become a ubiquitous boardroom topic in every major organisation and the leaders of these corporations will be asked about the company’s plans for using analytics to drive revenue, improve performance and better serve their customers. Leading organisations must embed the analytics process in the way they do business and apply the insights generated to all critical decisions.

At an investor roundtable held recently, our chief analytics officer was asked by investment bankers how to recognise from the outside that an organisation “gets” analytics and is using their data strategically. The reason is that is where they want to invest their money.

The challenge the industry faces at large is finding the talent and analytical skills needed for data advantage. There is a shortage of data scientists globally and as we know data scientists are the bridge between data analytics and business decision making.

Business, government and academia need to work together to address this problem. Closing the gap won’t be easy but here in New Zealand we are partnering with the likes of Massey University to address the skills gap with our Master of Analytics program. This is critical to ensure organisations have the talent to make data-driven strategic decisions and nurture an insight driven culture.

(L-R) Carmen Casagranda, CIO, Cigna; David Bowie, Managing Director, SAS; Claire Govier, Head of Transformation, Strategy and Architecture, Kiwibank; David Habershon, CIO, MSD and moderated by Divina Paredes, Editor, CIO NZ
(L-R) Carmen Casagranda, CIO, Cigna; David Bowie, Managing Director, SAS; Claire Govier, Head of Transformation, Strategy and Architecture, Kiwibank; David Habershon, CIO, MSD and moderated by Divina Paredes, Editor, CIO NZ


These are highlights from the panel discussion on ‘Purposeful Data Play: How to Extract Meaning for Business’ presented by CIO and Computerworld at the recent SAS Users of New Zealand (SUNZ) conference in Wellington.


Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Click hereto read digital editions of CIO New Zealand

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.

Join us on Facebook.

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, CDOs, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags skills shortagebusiness intelligencedata warehousesasdata scientistchief digital officerdavid bowiewellingtondavid habershonCIO100Claire GovierCarmen CasagrandaSUNZ 2016chief analytics officer@SUNZ2016Evan Stubbs#SUNZ

More about ClaireClickFacebookMassey UniversitySASTwitter

Show Comments
[]