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By leveraging the power of data, managers can provide new insights and make better decisions that produce positive outcomes.
Every organization has to improve how its leaders make decisions. Managers must be able to turn information into insights, then convert insights into actions and be sure those actions produce positive outcomes. Here are the fundamentals that build the solid data and technology foundations for highly effective analytics activities that enable high performance.
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For each timely, well-informed decision that business leaders make, too many other decisions are made late, with few of the right inputs or with obsolete information. Part of the problem is that many organizations are struggling to manage a deluge of information that extends far beyond the structured data in their data centers and beyond their four walls. They also struggle to master analytics.
Accenture’s studies show that while most executives agree that stronger growth depends on using analytics to derive actionable insights, many think their organizations are not doing enough or have not yet done anything with analytics.
Long term, the top objective for between two-thirds and three-quarters of executives polled recently by Accenture is to develop the ability to predict behaviors to the point where decisions can be made in real time. Yet nearly 40 percent of respondents believe their current technological resources and systems hurt the effective use of enterprise-wide analytics.
The high performers build rock-solid analytical foundations. They understand that analytics, done right, isn’t only about using the most sophisticated software. It calls for building robust foundations in information management and business intelligence. Accenture’s empirical studies reveal that leading practitioners think in terms of a spectrum of analytics capabilities and make sure they have mastered those foundation stages before tackling more sophisticated levels of analytics.
It’s now time for all organizations to identify where they are on their analytics journeys. High-performance businesses master two foundation stages first:
They excel at information management. Leading organizations ensure that they excel at consolidating and streamlining their information infrastructure—the physical layer—and refining their logical views of the data. They are starting to think beyond conventional constructs about how data is organized, accessed and managed. Distributed data will become the new norm, with distributed ownership and control as well as physical dispersion among different data centers and applications. This will require new approaches to data management, security, compliance and governance. For example, Procter & Gamble is making great progress with information management initiatives; thousands of legacy reports have been eliminated and new “decision cockpits” give executives very-up-to-date visual data that they can explore in great detail.
They establish optimum business intelligence practices. The new productivity frontier is in mobile business intelligence or BI. (BI is defined as the information needed to run the business from day to day, providing intelligence to describe what happened.) On-the-go executives who can easily access reports from anywhere through an iPad or similar device can devote more time to turning insights into action. The differentiating value in BI today is in the “last mile” to the user (and also in the “first mile,” at the points at which data is captured and analyzed). Several large enterprises are actively pursuing this opportunity. For example, a global medical-sciences company is working to reinvent how it addresses the reporting needs of its staff using mobile devices.
Accenture has developed leading solutions that help companies leverage the power of analytics to drive high performance. Contact us to find out how we can help.
August 17, 2011
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