Take the example of Accenture Strategy’s work with a global staffing firm. Socio-demographic information, unstructured competitor data and internal data were compiled by teams of data scientists and strategists to develop a brand-new, data-driven branch strategy in Germany. In close collaboration with the finance organization as primary data supplier, the project was delivered in four cycles of one month each, revealing new value pockets with each iteration. Progressively, insights on ideal size, location and business impact of each branch were included in a three-year business plan covering costs and revenues.
Work those foundational muscles
Once the first pilots deliver value, the momentum is on your side. Use it to scale analytics at speed. However, don’t forget to invest in the strategic initiatives that are required to become a mature, data-driven company in the long run. Master data models and data governance are typically longer-term projects that will enable more use cases over time and reduce the effort to build each case.
In addition, start recruiting the talent that you will need to continue driving analytics in your company. Building capabilities with the right skills will be instrumental to filling your pipeline with more use cases and to delivering more complex projects successfully. Having an analytics-capable workforce will help across an organization’s innovation objectives. According to our research, 82 percent of executives believe that the skills required and how they source talent will evolve, too.3
Find a good trainer
CFOs that accelerate their move to data-driven decision making stand to gain a competitive advantage. According to Accenture Strategy research, 50 percent of executives said that using data and analytics to better serve customers is one of the top ecosystem trends over the next three years.4 Tapping into these ecosystems of partners with specific skills and capabilities will be crucial to success.
Experts can help you identify, map and select the use cases and as-a-Service solutions can help you scale up rapidly—whether you plan to build your own infrastructure in the long run or not.
Once you have the feeling that your organization is ready to run on its own, you can have a look at your sourcing model and decide to build an internal Analytics Center of Excellence, or you can continue to leverage external solutions.
Just be sure you don’t have to look at competitors ahead of you some day and wonder why you didn’t start earlier.
In one byte …
Chief Financial Officers are best positioned to lead their companies to victory by using the information they collect internally and externally to generate insights and support informed decision-making, leveraging artificial intelligence, as well as descriptive and predictive analytics. The winners will be those who see the work ahead as a series of sprints. Pilot first, transform second and generate value along the entire way!
1 Accenture Strategy, CFOs: The digital kingdom’s new ruler, 2017
2 CFO.Com, Tech Priorities for CFOs: Data Management, Analytics, RPA
3 Accenture Strategy research, Tech-Led Change: IT Workforce, 2018
4 Accenture Strategy research, The Ecosystem Opportunity, 2018