The holy grail of big data: Becoming a predictive enterprise

Predictive enterprises outperform their peers and competitors by fully leveraging their information assets and intellectual capital using the data-leadership nexus model for strategic success.

Each and every predictive enterprise requires three essential elements for strategic success: effective leadership, a committed organisational culture and the exploitation of its core competencies.

These elements work in concert to make the use of data and analytics not only mainstream, but truly pervasive.

Everyone from the CEO down is not only analytics savvy, but also all work together to use their information assets and acumen in everyday activities and decision-making.

This is a major seed change as most organisations continue to only have isolated pockets of analytics excellence where data is curated for the specific task at hand, but not others.

>See also: Network Rail, UBS Investment Bank and Salvation Army to share their big data stories at Data Leadership 2014

While helpful in regards to solving specific decisioning challenges, it does not foster broader exploitation or learning.

In spite of major investments over the past two decades, this scenario remains the status quo. It is becoming more difficult to sustain, much less justify; increasingly vertical in structure and less capable of serving the broad needs of the entire enterprise. The data-leadership nexus endeavors to address these shortcomings directly at all levels.

By now I expect that most of you have noticed that the approach I am advocating to achieve big data and analytics success runs counter to the growing number of voices preaching the virtues of continuing to leave these strategic enablers under the auspices of IT, and anointing numerous ‘chiefs’ to be responsible for relative components of the strategy.

I believe that after more than 50 years of abdicating accountability for information assets to the technical team, it is high time for the senior business executives and the board to step up and be held to account going forward.

Strategy, and the pursuit of its outcomes, is the sole domain of the CEO and the board, and cannot be left to subordinates many layers down in the organisational hierarchy.  

If businesses do not change this dynamic of leadership and accountability, they will never be able to become a true predictive enterprise from my vantage point.

The data-leadership nexus as an engagement and structural model for becoming a predictive enterprise allows the entire organisation to become data and analytics empowered from the top down.

It moves the organisation from a selective, siloed and unscalable approach to one where every member holds acumen, and pervasiveness of use is everyday.

>See also: Do you really need a chief data officer?

New applications and opportunities to use big data and analytics are fostered by a core strategy, which focuses on achieving the differentiated outcomes that a predictive enterprise facilitates.

As many organisations struggle to create, much less sustain, sources of competitive advantage, the necessity to become a predictive enterprise has never been more paramount.

The leverage and exploitation of organisations’ information assets and intellectual capacity for deep analysis is a strategic imperative today.

What is a predictive enterprise?

A predictive enterprise utilises predictive capabilities – data, information and analytics – to optimise decision-making, mitigate risk and exploit insights for competitive advantage.

It is the foundation for transforming a business from a backwards-looking, gut-based hierarchical body, to one where everyone in the organisation uses data and analytical techniques to make better decisions that are closer to the customer and in real-time.

Article by Richard Lee

Avatar photo

Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...