Digital transformation has passed its tipping point: every business today knows that it must embrace digital to remain relevant to customers and competitive in increasingly challenging markets. As they do so, one element is proving fundamental: the ability of enterprises to leverage data analytics at scale. To achieve this, organisations must first have the right mix of people, skills and systems in place.
So, how can you ensure your analytics function is ready for the digital age? For me, there are four questions you should ask:
Can you innovate to create deep customer insights?
Can you integrate these insights into transformed customer journeys?
Can these journeys then be delivered at scale across the organisation
Can this process be repeated continually to ensure iterative innovation?
If you answer no to any of these questions then you must act now. The first and most important step is to ensure your analytics function comprises the right set of skills required for digital innovation. Unlike in the past, these skills extend across various functions, including:
Business: who act as the bridge to integrate analytics insights and ensure they’re relevant. This includes more strategic roles to ensure the right focus and value.
Analytics: who are required to deliver deep customer and enterprise insights. These individuals are also increasingly specialising in a specific industry or functional area (e.g. fraud, customer, etc).
Design: who embrace customer insights and reimagine new processes that delight the customer. User adoption is typically the primary reason that analytics initiatives fail. It’s therefore critical that these data-led designers ensure that the customer is well represented at every stage of the process.
Technology: as it’s essential that new processes are delivered at scale and integrated across front and back office systems. This includes specialist Analytics Solution Architects who can ensure your business uses an appropriate analytics platform that is also designed to integrate with the wider technology landscape.
The modern, digital enterprise also requires individuals that blend both traditional computer science and data science capabilities. This is especially true as we see the increased importance of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
The below diagram provides details of the individual roles within each of the main functional categories that you need to ensure are served in your modernised analytics capability; but it is not an exhaustive list: new roles and requirements will emerge as we see a maturing of the analytics profession. The most effective digital enterprises bring these skills together into agile pods where smaller teams deliver many iterative improvements.
Each of these four categories have fundamentally different skills that require their own career paths and training. However, when they are brought together, organisations will be able to see the full value of analytics at scale.