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Is cultural readiness hindering analytics maturity in your organization?

March 29, 2016

There is growing recognition that data and analytics will be the new competitive advantage in the data-rich digital age.  Recognizing this trend, organizations have made significant investments in this space, in terms of new technology, capabilities and talent.

Despite this, only 20-25% of companies feel that their analytics programs have gone beyond reporting; into decision support and guiding strategy.  Based on our experience, many analytics programs falter because they failed to consider the organization’s cultural readiness for analytics. 

Most analytics maturity frameworks in the market today suggest a relatively one-dimensional approach; whereby increasing sophistication in technology and talent will lead to higher levels of analytics maturity.  At FYT Consulting, analytics maturity is more practically represented in 2 dimensions; technical and cultural readiness. 

  • Technical readiness – refers to the sophistication of the analytics platforms and processes as well as the talent required to capitalize on them

  • Cultural readiness – refers to the less tangible aspects in adopting analytics; such as

    • The decision making culture – is it gut or volume or personality or opinion or data driven?

    • The comfort level with consuming data – reading charts and trends may not be natural for some, and even fewer are comfortable with statistics.  Misalignment in this area can turn away major stakeholders

In our experience, many analytics programs falter because they failed to properly consider the organization’s cultural readiness for analytics.  If the organization, particularly leadership, is not ready to make data driven decisions for whatever reason, investments in analytics related technology and/or people will have limited traction.    When building analytics capabilities in your organization, consider the following:

  • How are decisions made in the organization? Is it collaborative or authoritarian?  How engaged is the leadership team in the process? Who makes the final call?

  • How are the business cases made?  Is data used at all? Or is it driven by opinions of “experts”? How much confidence does the organization place on data?

  • Is the organization comfortable with data, data visualizations and quantitative methods? Or do they glaze over when complex charts or data are shown?

For any analytics program to be sustainable, FYTs opinion is that both dimensions need to be addressed in sync. The complexity of technology and analysis needs to meet the needs of the audiences' comfort and ability to comprehend it.  It is as much building confidence in data and the analysis as it is building capabilities in the wider organization to regularly use data and analytics for business decision. 

 

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact FYT Consulting for more information

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