Numerous studies and surveys show that companies that make strategic decisions based on data are more competitive than those that do not.
Business and IT
We know that both the business part and the IT part of a company are aware and agree that the use of data supposes numerous advantages for decision making. However, we find that many times companies do not use their data strategically or fail to get the results they expect.
Obviously the causes are multiple and each company has its particularities, but without a doubt, a key piece of why we fail to reach expectations is the misalignment between the IT and business areas.
Four situations, four contributions
Here are some situations that evidence what has previously been mentioned and what can be done in this regard?
- The value of the data and the impact of its use in decision-making must be reflected in concrete steps (key indicators), and that measure is the income statement.
Once the contribution to the income statement has been quantified, both the business and IT areas must know, understand and feel the objectives set for them and be involved in the corporate strategy of thier data and what is expected to be generated from this data.
- The IT area is normally the custodian of the data and responsible for its quality, collection, governance, etc. Sometimes these areas are so involved in the management and administration of data that they do not have the capacity to respond quickly and in time to certain business needs.
For these cases, IT must implement "self-service" tools that allow non-technical users to build custom reports with data from multiple sources at all times.
- The data is. The IT area is responsible for collecting and storing large amounts of data not only from the company's own systems, but also from the customer's feedback, from suppliers and other external sources. However, it is not taken advantage of (or not all that it could be) from the business area with all the information that is available.
Apart from considering the data as a strategic asset, both the IT and the business area should participate in the corporate data strategy, and from the initial stages collaborate in the cataloging or inventory of the data with the intention to achieve the objectives that have been set.
- The IT area does not understand properly the needs before a request for data necessary to make a business decisions.
Data analytics projects should be led by a person with IT knowledge or by someone with IT and business expertise. The "training" to IT areas must be encouraged, so as to see the impact that your work has on the business.
Conclusion: The balance
The understanding or balance between the area of IT and business is a critical factor that affects the success or failure of a data analytics project, but reflecting on the points we have discussed we can mitigate many risks and increase the chances of success.
Tomás Pérez. Project Manager.