From Laggards to Leaders –
Smart Technology with Smart Analytics

Data has become central to the way in which businesses and their leaders engage in decision-making, due in part to its increasing availability and in part to the incredible computational power being increasingly harnessed to improve analytic capabilities. So, while smart technology leads to 'smarter' data, smart analytics teams are even more important for making that data work in the interest of businesses and their bottom lines. In acknowledgement of this fact, A.T. Kearney and Melbourne Business School put together an Analytics Impact Index cataloguing potential impacts by analytics on businesses' profitability and growth. What the Index demonstrated was that one crucial characteristic determined the size of profits: is your analytics team a leader or a 'laggard'?

Analytics leaders see 60% more profits than do 'laggards,' and typically have a better-defined analytics strategy and fully internalized culture of decision-making. While the Analytics Impact Index can be a helpful tool in allowing analytics leaders to identify the gaps in their already-strong operations, it can be more difficult to make use of the tool and move up the maturity curve for 'laggards' with little idea of how to get more value out of their operations.

Five Key Tactics for Becoming a Leader
Forbes recently turned its attention to this very problem, and has found that there are five key things that analytics teams deemed 'leaders' do which differs from those who follow the pace but fail to set it. Others have corroborated the necessity for these steps as well, as McKinsey & Company recently turned to the question of how to 'reboot' analytics leadership.

First, analytics leaders invest in traditional and advanced analytics tools, meaning they are careful not to forego the tried and true tools like business intelligence platforms, data warehouses, etc. in favour of 'new' technology for the very sake of its novelty. Implementing new technology like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning is most effective when combined with a strong foundation in the more traditional platforms, though AI and other new tools are expected to unlock anywhere from $9.5 trillion to $15.4 trillion USD annually.

Second, leaders differ from laggards in their understanding of the importance of a technological foundation: without strong technology, what's at risk is the accuracy and timeliness of the data itself. Technological infrastructure improvement is a focus area for 75% of analytics leaders, according to Forbes' study.

Third, analytics leaders centralize some aspects of their analytics for business-wide use, while specializing certain insights for individual departments with unique operational needs. This is called the "hub and spoke" model.

Fourth, analytics leaders are those who enjoy strong support from C-suite executives. Laggards tend to lack such high-level commitment to the use of analytics, and inevitably suffer from it as it keeps them lower on the maturity curve.

Fifth, analytics leaders simply outspend their competitors. 82% of the leading analytics teams set aside more than 10% of their annual budget in 2018 for analytics investment, while only 23% of laggards did so.

Lead the Way
Overall, what's at stake is the level at which a company's analytics perform in its interests: being a pacemaker and leader requires restructuring, vision, investment, and more, but can take a data-driven organization to the next step in its maturity curve if done right.

At Emergotech we specialize in navigating the complex world of analytics to provide cutting-edge tailored solutions. Contact us to find out how we can take your company from Laggard to Leader. Get started with Emergotech today!

April 1st, 2019 - 4 min read

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