As analytics evolve and become more prevalent, companies often establish centers of excellence or centralize activities to deliver analytical insights for specific regions or functions. In doing so, these geographic and functional areas incur their own design and implementation costs, create their own technology solutions and hire their own analytics specialists, normally at a premium cost. And they do it all in an environment of shrinking investment budgets and scarce personnel.

In taking this approach, companies are potentially missing out on the opportunity to use analytics more holistically. Integrated Business Service (IBS) operating models enable a new, cross-functional, end-to-end, cross-geographic view of the organization.

Analytics Services in shared, Integrated Business Service operating models

Business leaders have found that integrated operating models, including Integrated Business Services, can break down functional silos and reduce organizational complexity by 50 percent, while also being able to more optimally support better decision-making.1

This trend has encouraged leading companies to extend their use of shared services to manage enterprise-wide analytics capabilities and gain more business insight and value in the process.

Companies leverage these models not just for historical controlling and reporting activities, but also for identifying opportunities for developing and selling new products, targeting sales and marketing activities and service channels to more profitable customer segments, and optimizing the internal supply chain and distribution process.

According to Accenture and MIT® research, 92 percent of high performers report receiving a significant ROI from analytics, versus only 24 percent of low performers.2

Analytic Services in Integrated Business Services *

This chart shows the service components and the impact from analytics services in Integrated Business Services.This chart shows the service components and the impact from analytics services in Integrated Business Services.

Optimizing broader, enterprise-wide value from analytics is often challenging due to:

  • Availability and retention of skills needed to design, implement and manage an analytics capability
  • Need to rapidly innovate, evolve and roll out analytic technologies and services to meet changing business needs
  • Uncoordinated governance and initiatives, which lead to fragmented knowledge, unaligned technology solutions, higher costs and silo-solutions within functions or geographies
  • Lack of executive sponsorship, often due to “gut-feel” management styles versus relying on data and resulting insights, as well as historic lack of confidence in the value of lower maturity analytic solutions

IBS operating models overcome these challenges and offer an enterprise-wide platform for innovating, building, serving, maintaining and evolving Analytics Services to all parts of the company.

These models offer four key advantages:

  1. Innovation and evolution platform: The combination of a coordinated, global delivery network together with end-to-end process governance and transparency provides a unique platform on which companies can transform and implement enterprise-wide analytics.
  2. Digital technology and transformation enabler: Leveraging end-to-end process and service knowledge, centralized specialists are better able to create value-adding analytic services. In IBS delivery centers, Analytics Services have access to latest technologies, used to optimize and scale new capabilities—something that is often skill and cost prohibitive in decentralized or regional operating models.
  3. Unique enterprise view: With end-to-end processes, cross-functional and cross-geographic views, and centralized internal and external data availability, shared Analytics Services teams are able to provide unique, neutral views of data and identify new business opportunities for their business partners in a consistent and efficient manner. They serve as “one source of truth” for data analysis and insight.
  4. Traditional shared business service benefits: By consolidating specialized skills in the right location with the right level of quality, companies can optimize costs and better understand their internal partners’ service requirements. Synergies with other IBS services produce additional cost, productivity and knowledge gains. Focused Centers of Competence are also often more able to attract hard to find skills and talent in the market.

Several global consumer goods companies have, for example, recently chosen to re-align decentralized functional analytics efforts and teams under the common umbrella of their shared services organizations, seeing that the competencies required to implement, operate and perform value-adding analytics, not to mention the value of common IT solutions and approaches, are better achieved in a shared center of excellence.

These shared Analytics Services teams are ideally composed of a diverse set of data science and modelling skills, visualization specialists, software developers and, of course, business analysts to perform the portfolio of analytics services. Companies leverage internal specialists, often supplementing with external service providers for infrastructure, software development and cloud services as required.

More agility for analytics model evolution

While initial, cross-functional Analytics Services were focused on leveraging initial data-warehousing and business intelligence tools, leaders are leveraging more advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence solutions, to drive improved business value. Leaders are not just looking to analyze what has taken place, but rather seek through predictive analytic methods what might happen, and ideally what prescriptive actions can be taken today to impact the future.

Nearly three quarters of companies surveyed in recent Accenture research see digitization, analytics and intelligent automation (DAA) as a top priority,3 with data analysis and insight being seen by 57 percent as the key benefit derived from AI solutions.4 Related Accenture insight from recent cross-industry studies and experience shows that 50 percent of companies implementing a well-organized analytics capability expect to deploy best in class Analytics Services, and estimate annual benefits of more than five percent in sales lift.5

As IBS organizations continue to pursue service enhancement opportunities, leveraging their traditional value proposition and applying this to the area of advanced Analytics Services can unlock substantial value for the business, making the shared business services model a real integrated component of successful companies’ overall operating models.

Experiences from companies optimizing their use of Analytics Services and advanced digital analytics solutions has shown, for example, sales improvements of between two to four percent through optimizing pricing, channel and marketing activities through improved analytics insight, focusing sales force efforts.

The inherent benefits—described above—of such models allow much quicker, coordinated and effective evolution of Analytics Services to reach a higher degree of maturity and value to the company as a whole.

Analytics Services: Human-centric, data-led, technology-driven

Building on the core components of robust Analytics Service models, including global delivery networks and governance, end-to-end process understanding, innovative service creation and delivery skills, and all based on the ability to serve as an innovation driver with advanced digital solutions—Analytics Services teams can unlock new business value opportunities previously trapped in operational data.

With the right operating model platform, Analytics Services can be generated with more agility, at scale, more rapidly and cost-effectively to meet the changing needs of the business.

1 Accenture Strategy, “Breaking through the complexity barrier,” 2017

2 Accenture and MIT research, “Winning with Analytics: Linking Analytics to High Performance,” 2016

3 Accenture Digital, Supply Chain Analytics research, 2017

4 Accenture Strategy research, Tech Led Change: AI, 2018

5 Accenture, Analytics Operating Model Benchmarking Study, 2015

David A. Miller

Director – Accenture Strategy, Operating Model


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