Try to think of topics in business or general life where there is universal agreement.  There aren’t many candidates. ‘Poverty should be eradicated’, ‘always provide a good customer service’, ‘global warming should be tackled’; all reasonable suggestions that almost everyone would agree upon.

Our experiences here in the Capgemini Consulting UK Business Analytics team have uncovered another universal truth felt by our clients: ‘we should be applying and benefiting from analytics in our business’. 

Unfortunately making this happen is easier said than done.

“How will using analytics actually improve our business performance?”

“Is my organisation capable of exploiting our data and using analytics?”

“We know what we want to do with analytics but how do we embed this in our business?”

These are the sorts of questions that we are hearing every day from our clients across all industries. Everybody is talking about ‘big data’, about ‘the internet of things’, about how the world is transforming through new, sophisticated technology that can be deployed. Customers are demanding a more personalised experience with their service providers and many business leaders see an analytics capability as the route to achieving this; providing greater insight into customer behaviour and a chance to optimise your assets and processes along the way.

However, many of these business leaders we speak to are struggling to understand what this means for their organisation, whether they have an existing analytics capability in place or have yet to start their journey into the world of ‘big data’.

This is perfectly illustrated in the work we’ve been doing with a financial services organisation. This business knew that they wanted to exploit their data to make meaningful decisions in both their operational performance and in their engagement with customers. The challenge for them was that their business expertise, skills, data feeds and technology were fragmented both geographically and organisationally, which made it difficult for them to define their specific objectives and plan to achieve them.

To help them overcome this complexity, we worked with them to define their ‘analytics vision’ by understanding their existing analytics maturity through benchmarking against similar organisations and defining the use cases where analytics could add immediate and significant insight to the business. We were then able to work with the different teams to map the technology, processes, data sources and skill sets that would be required to achieve this, and help them plan to get there from where they were.

For this particular organisation the answer was to create an analytics centre of excellence, organising their analytical skills into a network of expertise that could offer dedicated services to exploit their data for business decision making.

This will led to a number of immediate benefits:

  • Understanding the value of their existing data will mean this organisation can use their current tools to identify cross selling opportunities and personalise their marketing
  • Moving to a central pool of resource will allow them to optimise their use of software tools saving thousands of pounds worth of licence costs every year
  • By establishing their analytics vision up front, they will be able to plan effectively for future recruitment, training and infrastructure investment

Without an analytics vision, organisations will never progress beyond the appreciation that analytics is just something they should be doing.

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