The IT organization has to carve out its role in a company's analytics strategy. What works? Either of two approaches.
Analyst: It’s a common title in enterprises today, spanning functional and business units – marketing analyst, finance analyst, IT analyst, sales analyst and HR analyst to name a few. Yet often, there is no centralized oversight, leaving ownership of business analytics nebulous in many organizations.
In a time when companies are clamoring to integrate big data and predictive analytics into their core processes, many IT departments have rallied to lead the analytics charge because they are ultimately responsible for the systems and warehousing that make critical internal data accessible and usable. However, such an approach can be seen as a bottleneck and an unnecessary layer in analytics, and delaying valuable insights to business decision makers.
Instead, IT’s role in analytics should be one of facilitation, driving innovation by keeping a close watch for new technologies that will provide business value. More specifically, IT should not just maintain the internal systems of record and data sources. Rather, because functional users all have varying needs when it comes to data, the IT team should also allow for flexibility in business applications. The historical "boil the ocean" approach of using one centrally controlled system, platform or tool for all of these users won’t meet their individual needs, leading to productivity loss as business users fruitlessly wait for meaningful insights.
Innovative and nimble organizations prove most successful when they empower their employees, allowing them to find and use solutions for their own specific needs, not trying to force existing platforms into unintended uses. Instead of IT taking overarching control of analytics, I’ve seen two approaches emerge as highly effective methods to managing analytics within enterprises.