So I spent the weekend catching up on some long overdue gardening but before I started I called in my local DIY and gardening store to get some plants, feed etc.
Now I love looking around these places at all the equipment and machines you can buy, to cut, chop, mulch, rotovate and generally make life easier – all of them promise you to save time and drive efficiency as well as perhaps looking good amongst the neighbours when you tell them of your latest purchase.
Yet as I’m not even a gifted amateur when it comes to gardening I’m not really sure how to get the best out of these tools or indeed really understand the right tool I need for my job – in fact only this weekend I spent a good couple of hours cursing with a strimmer wishing I’d paid a bit more to have one that you didn’t need to keep rethreading manually. Clearly at the time of purchase I didn’t really understand my needs or how it was going to be used in the future.
Much of this is similar to clients I see looking at analytics – the showrooms and conference halls are packed to the rafters with new technology offering options to get store, splice, dice and get insight out of data quicker and easier than what came before. Yet whilst people may have an idea of the kit that they need to start managing their data estate many aren’t really sure of the detailed ways in which the insights and data will be used by the business or indeed the detailed questions and business problems that the data needs to provide answers to.
In my mind it is essential that organisations:
Take time to align across the business and understand the questions that need addressing before getting too far down the track.
Trigger action and make a start in your data journey but in ways which allow the course to adjust over time.
Spend the time to think about how the insights will be used on the front line and the new ways of working embedded into the organisation.
Getting value from data and analytics is as much about getting the right tools in place as it is having clarity on how you will use and apply the insights; much like in my garden when I’m trying to think about how I will use and enjoy the space as much as thinking of the cool tools that can help me manage the upkeep.
At Accenture we refer to the 5As of Analytics Transformation as the steps you need to take to embed the use of data in your organisation and I’ll be talking more about these in coming weeks … in the meantime I’m off to see if I can find where I put my secateurs