Accenture studied the most analytically-mature companies to better understand this transformation. Coupled with our own experience and the recent Winning in Analytics research, we conducted a deep-dive benchmarking study on analytics operating models in order to better understand how high performing companies are organizing their capabilities.
Just a few years ago, companies were still in exploration mode, trying to balance the benefits of centralized analytics resources against their business units’ demands for ready access to analytics expertise.
The Analytics Operating Model Benchmarking Study suggests that companies are looking to more aggressively transform their analytics operating model and drive change, with the most mature companies well along the path to an agile, integrated analytics operating model (as seen below).
Traditional governance models are often thought of as sluggish. Today's high-performing analytics leaders are building thin, horizontal governance structures focused on outcomes and speed to value. These new structures take a “test and learn” approach, and also employ “fail fast” techniques, rapidly rolling out new ideas and capabilities and testing them repeatedly. If an idea is not working, it is dropped quickly, so that the company does not continue to invest in something that does not add value.
Structured innovationAnother element of agile governance is a structured innovation process. Leaders may set up innovation or “SWAT teams” with a mandate to focus on key business questions for a concentrated period of time.
Executive scorecardsPerhaps the most critical part of establishing an agile governance structure is ensuring that it uses the key metrics that are most important to the business, which might include:
Speed to standing up priority capabilities
Pace of adopting new capabilities
Value creation offices
Leaders are also instituting value creation “offices” to spearhead outcome tracking against key metrics and to ensure that the value from analytics is realized. These “offices” have involvement from senior leaders with accountability for analytics as well as program management office resources who can develop templates and processes as needed.
The final distinguishing characteristic of leading analytics organizations is their commitment to raising the “analytics IQ” of all roles within the enterprise.
The intelligent enterprise
Leading analytics organizations—those surveyed by Accenture as well as those we have worked with directly—have a vision of what might be termed the “intelligent enterprise.” They are training resources to use new tools and techniques to improve decision-making throughout the enterprise and they are also implementing innovative technologies such as advanced data visualization to communicate the value of analytics to business units, core functional teams and IT.
Some companies use the Accenture Connected Analytics Experience or build their own immersive environments that leverage visualization techniques to provide greater context for the information presented as well as the trends that are being illustrated. They are moving away from traditional presentation tools and are leveraging more interactive tools to improve collaboration.
A holistic, interactive learning approach where business, analytics, and IT resources are equipped with new immersive tools, techniques, and formal training opportunities allows companies to:
Activate leaders by focusing time, funding and attention on desired behaviors and skills;
Shift behaviors and mindsets to engrain new habits
Embed behaviors into business processes and metrics, all in service of driving a cultural transformation.