There is a lot of talk in the market about being able to scale analytics. But what does that really mean? And how can organizations scale their investments to support the level of information visibility required to drive business success?
Developing a culture of collaborative analytics
In essence, scalability can be defined as the ability to integrate more diverse data across the organization and expand analytics to include broader access so that many different types of users across the company (or across customer or partner landscapes) can access what they need when they need it. At the same time, many organizations focus on technology when looking at scalability. They focus on integrating more data sources or developing broader analytics use cases. What many of these scalability initiatives overlook are the need to define how information is shared and disseminated across the organization, which requires a shift towards a collaborative approach to analytics. In essence, collaborative analytics provides the link between better data access and more effective decision making, leading to better action-oriented intelligence.
Linking collaboration and analytics
Supporting cultural shifts is an essential component required to build an environment that supports collaborative analytics and that scales across the organization. This can be achieved by the following:
- Break down internal silos – Enable cross-functional teams to share analytics across those teams based on business goals, as well as, more broadly across the organization.
- Increase diversity - Just as diversity in the workplace helps us identify more opportunities and ensure broader ideas, increasing analytics, data diversity, information access, and how people work together have the same effect.
- Holistic development – Instead of developing applications for specific use cases, ensure that development efforts take into account business challenges and all of their components, and not only departmental needs.
- Shareable applications – Make sure information and analytical applications are shareable by different user groups. This requires user friendly solutions and the integration of social platforms for commenting, responsibility identification, and accountability.
- Organization wide data governance – Ensure that data is managed across the organization in a centralized way. If different business teams define data assets differently, it becomes virtually impossible to speak the same language and collaborate on projects or look at data through the same lens.
Encouraging collaborative analytics provides access to more complete views of business functions, operational insights, and the ability to take informed actions. Instead of consuming data, collaborating on insights means that people can discuss issues before they become problems and make informed decisions using group think. Additionally, analytics ends up in the hands of more users, supporting organization wide scalability.
Making it happen
Creating cultural change is a challenge for organizations at the best of times. Sometimes, integrating action oriented insights and collaborative analytics can be challenging because organizations may see collaboration as an initiative separate from analytics delivery across the organization. The reality is that solution choice is important to ensure that business users can collaborate and share content broadly across the organization. Ensuring successful collaborative analytics requires a shift in culture and the realization that collaborative capabilities are an important part of any software evaluation.