How to improve data analytics capabilities across your organization

Gartner recently hosted a webinar on Data & Analytics Leadership and Vision for 2020. In it, Debra Logan, distinguished VP analyst, shared insights from research from their Fourth Annual Chief Data Officer Study, providing guidance for CEOs, CIOs, and CDOs. 

Sixty-three percent of CEOs say that they are likely to change their business models between 2018-2020. As Logan points out, business transformation, digital transformation, and data analysis are “intimately tied.” 

Her webinar focused on essential data and analytics trends for 2020 and how to approach these shifts strategically. 

data analytic meeting

Data and Analytics Leaders are On the Offense

There is a big change in the data analytics roles, like the chief data officer (CDO), from tactical to more strategic. This change is because, as Logan says, “Every data and analytics conversation is a business conversation.” 

Today, CDOs are putting 72 percent of their attention towards business-goal-driven activities versus 21 percent towards technology-driven activities.  

And, according to Gartner’s last CIO Agenda report, 45 percent of CIOs plan to increase their investment in business intelligence or analytics solutions in 2020.

Exploit Data and Analytics in Enterprise Strategies 

Other trends include a shift in leadership focus from focusing on just efficiency and cost reduction to diverse business benefits, including monetization. 

  • Vision is shifting from technology-centric to data-centric. 
  • Strategy is shifting from data and analytics coming out of IT to being the focus of the business. 
  • Governance is shifting from data as truth to building trust in the data. 
  • Organization of data and analytics is shifting from being monolithic to being distributed across the enterprise. 
  • Roles are shifting from being tech-savvy to being data literate. 
  • And, technology is shifting from being local, siloed, and collected to being collected and, then, connected. 

Most importantly, data and analytics are moving out of IT and becoming the business.

Solution for Filling Data Science Skills Scarcity

Gartner predicts that, by 2023, data literacy will become an explicit and necessary driver of business value in over 80 percent of data and analytics strategies. However, organizations are facing the challenge of needing and wanting to build a robust data analytics organization, but not having adequate talent available.  

This webinar suggests bringing data analytics expertise together from across the organization into a virtual “community of practice.” The idea is catching fire as the presenter called data and analytics “the number one skill of the 21st Century, personally and professionally.” Everyone, inside and outside their work-life, must know, “who and what sources can I trust? Do you speak data?”  

CEOs, CIOs, and CDOs are encouraged to create this virtual community of data expertise by creating a data literacy program. This structure would not only pull internal and external data knowledge and capabilities together for corporate projects but also create a campaign and center of excellence to build data literacy skills for every employee. 

Becoming data-driven requires new competencies and data-literate roles.” Deliberate orchestration and distributed practice can guide those roles. 

While Gartner predicts that, by 2025, >50 percent of data science activities will be automated by artificial intelligence (AI), organizations still need to supplement their current needs in the face of shortages as the industry evolves.

Gartner suggests five best practices for tackling these data analytics trends.

Best Practice #1:

Assign a senior executive champion of data and analytics 

Best Practice #2:

Assess and adjust your organization models 

  •  Review the list of must-have roles (e.g., CDO, business process analysts, data engineers, data ethicists, etc.)  
  •  Understand the strengths and gaps in your organization’s data skills (domain knowledge, data skills, analytics skills, technology skills) 

Best Practice #3:

Scope your data analytics center of excellence based on business priorities 

  •  Office of the CDO, central data analytics team, decentralized teams 
  •  Areas of priorities: process improvement, data analytics governance, data science lab, operational intelligence 

Best Practice #4:

Assess your maturity across Gartner’s seven major disciplines 

Best Practice #5:

Master and motivate change by tapping into employees’ reasons to enhance data literacy personally and professionally

Take a Fresh Approach to Data Analytics Leadership and Literacy 

If your organization is taking a fresh approach to data literacy and need to supplement your expertise, SDLC Partners can help. Our data analytics experts can assist you in creating your data COE, building your data governance models and policies, and tap into continuous insights that empower action from all your data sources.

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