To begin our applied intelligence journey, we built an analytics organization and enabled core technologies like our data lake to serve as the foundation for the business. This foundation enabled quick but also secure access to data that was typically siloed and in disparate systems. We industrialized and operationalized the delivery of analytics solutions while cultivating innovation.
In the process, demand for data insights soared. We also saw that corporate functions and client account teams had varying needs and their processes were at different stages of maturity for analytics. This led us to evolve our approach so that we could deliver more analytics solutions to more of Accenture more quickly.
Today, we are focused on advising the business areas on their AI journey by offering the right technology, partnering on core analytics and datasets, participating in innovation sessions and driving adoption.
Our global IT Applied Intelligence team is driven by a mission to promote a data-driven culture within Accenture. We are a team of IT professionals, data scientists, software engineers, user experience experts, change specialists and others who collaborate globally with internal business customers every step of the way to deliver the program’s services and make applied intelligence at Accenture a reality.
We work with creative agility, incubate new analytic capabilities and IT, and embed analytics into the core of Accenture’s business processes and dialogues. We ask the right questions, create appropriate experiences, provide guidance and support change. And we are always curious, explore new capabilities and follow emerging technology market trends.
Our Applied Intelligence teams are organized into five major services that business teams collaborate with for varying needs. These services include:
Business advisory. Our business advisors work with Accenture teams to capture requirements, define conceptual solutions and technology options. Teams come for such needs as advanced analytics/AI, curated datasets, the design and build of dashboards, analyses on specific processes, and support and maintenance of dashboards and AI models. Where appropriate, business advisors also guide the process to self-service or federated models and to move enterprise function teams to increasingly mature analytics solutions.
"In the early weeks of COVID-19, our global IT Applied Intelligence team delivered value-added analytics quickly to numerous enterprise functions, helping to enhance Accenture’s response."
— Mark Martynus, Managing Director – Global IT, Delivery Services, Accenture
Analytics agency. The analytics agency consists of individuals with diverse skills, including data science, who are on the leading edge of what AI can do and look to apply it to different solutions. A large, core team is at Accenture’s flagship global innovation center, The Dock. Regardless of location, these individuals conduct immersion sessions with business teams to uncover pain points and ways to apply innovative AI. They then co-create solutions using advanced and emerging AI capabilities while shaping perspectives on critical AI considerations like building ethical AI.
Product engineering. Our product engineers build and apply cutting-edge, big data technology, data science and artificial intelligence products in collaboration with business teams. These teams operate in liquid delivery cells with agile methodology to quickly build solutions for customers.
Platform and operations. Teams for this service operate Accenture’s Insights Anywhere platform, data lake and visualization platforms as a service. Additionally, with liquid delivery cells and DevSecOps, they scale and embed solutions into a team’s business processes. By operating and servicing the core assets, this team ensures the stability of insights across the organization.
Customer success. Embracing change and AI solutions to make data-driven decisions is the responsibility of both the business teams and our analytics organization. By building a visible service around achieving customer outcomes with analytics, our customer success teams place critical attention on adoption, change interventions and proper training and communications. These efforts aim to realize the maximum value in the analytics solutions that are built.
Advanced analytic models
Our global IT Applied Intelligence team also performs projects to support our services and vision as well as build solutions for data management and analytics, including everything from a new platform, use cases, processes and support. Initiatives we are focusing on near term include:
Platform transformation. Our global IT Applied Intelligence team is moving Accenture’s legacy analytics platform to a new platform, Accenture Insights Anywhere, powered by Google Cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Our team, partnering with Google, designed a modernized platform with the ability to deploy services faster and realize improved performance and stability for the applications powered by our data lake. This transformation will also make it easier to pull in data from source systems that have yet to put their data into the data lake.
With the move to cloud-native, serverless architectures with Google Cloud, Accenture is creating a foundation to store and analyze its enterprise data in the data lake—and still have room to grow. This move is also anticipated to reduce administrative complexity, improve cost efficiency and enable insights at speed. And it is projected to advance Accenture’s cloud capabilities with self-service analytics and real-time integration across various platforms, such as ServiceNow and Salesforce.
Automation. Our team is focused on automating manual activities around corporate function reporting. Historically, teams performed a great deal of manual Excel work for business leaders to get insights on data. We are addressing automating those solutions and processes where time savings and reducing user error are possible. Doing so will allow people to spend more time building analytics that advance Accenture’s maturity journey.
Report rationalization. Our team has been and is continuing to simplify Accenture’s legacy application and reporting landscape. We are also consolidating analytic assets for ease-of-use and cost-to-serve advantages. Rationalizing reports will gradually change how our employees engage with and take action on data where they work and put more focus on decision making over administration. Another benefit is that the user experience will be better with fewer places people have to go to get their questions answered.
A valuable difference
Our global IT Applied Intelligence program is moving Accenture leaders and teams across Accenture enterprise functions and geographies away from siloed data, disconnected online and offline reports, and past-looking information to data insights in the hands of users. They are using analytics to make decisions in real time, creating their own outputs supported by the right guardrails and security, and drawing from a single source of data. The program is transforming how we work. The long-term intent is for Accenture people to gain insights into business activities in ways previously not possible and in ways yet to be uncovered.
The Applied Intelligence program and services will continue to evolve and support Accenture’s ongoing analytics journey. The program journey to date has delivered more than 100 analytics solutions, bringing analytics and visualizations to such areas as Finance, Treasury, Human Resources, Legal, Sales & Pricing, Internal Audit, Marketing, Procurement, Digital Technology Support Service Desk and Corporate Services & Sustainability.
Accenture’s applied intelligence in action:
"We are teaming with all of global IT Applied Intelligence’s services to set up Finance for self-service analytics and standard datasets. This will let us do all kinds of analysis on our own without deep expertise."
— RACHAEL BYRD, Director – Finance, Accenture
This platform provides self-service analytics for business unit and client leads to improve business performance.