A traditional data analytics strategy does not cut it in the modern business environment — it needs to be modernised and prioritised.
Today, fewer than 50% of documented corporate strategies mention data and analytics as key components for delivering enterprise value, according to Gartner. That is because traditional data and analytics strategies overlook the demands of digital business.
A modern data analytics strategy serves a broader enterprise purpose. It must be more integrated into the ways people work than ever before and as a result, a new approach to data and analytics has emerged.
“IT leaders need to look at data first to succeed in their digital initiatives, rather than treating them as an afterthought to help with ad hoc projects,” explained Mike Rollings, research vice president at Gartner. “Chief data officers (CDOs) must shift toward using data and analytics capabilities to transform business models and improve customer experiences, elevating data and analytics strategy to the enterprise level.”
Gartner: top 10 data and analytics technology trends for 2019
A evolved data analytics strategy
“For decades, data and analytics strategies have been service-centred, which is where strategy looked more like a list of projects or changes going on in the enterprise that required peripheral support from the data and analytics department,” said Rollings. “Today, we must inspire the use of data and analytics in everything we do and across our business ecosystems, helping our organisation examine how the use of internal and external data can reinvent how we deliver value.”
This is important to keep in mind since defining data and analytics strategy is identified as the top responsibility of 86% of data and analytics leaders, up from 64% in 2016, according to Gartner.
Gartner: 5 trends shaping analytics and business intelligence
A modern approach to data analytics
According to Gartner, nearly half of IT leaders plan on increasing their analytics investments to support digital transformation in the coming year. “It’s impossible to be a digital business without being a data-driven enterprise. And, increasingly, data and analytics is part of every business discussion about digital transformation,” continued Rollings.
The implementation of a data and analytics strategy was ranked the No. 3 most-critical success factor among CDO respondents in the most recent Gartner CDO Survey, yet not enough CDOs have achieved a balanced data and analytics operating model.
“To be successful in the long run, CDOs need to strike a balance between tactical and strategic activities,” advised Rollings. “At the heart of data-driven thinking is answering the fundamental question of ‘How can data and analytics be used to change what we do and add value?’ There is no more room for a strategy specific to the data and analytics team, but instead an imperative for an enterprise level operating model.”