It’s time to get transformative. Now more than ever, “business as usual” is a recipe for stagnation.
Companies that reinvent themselves are the companies that grow, and sometimes ridiculously fast. Case in point: Apple Computer Company. Sounds odd, right? Apple used to be Apple Computer Company. Always innovating, Apple transformed from a “computer” company to a “consumer products” company that also makes computers, and they have experienced rocket-like growth as a result. Interestingly, similar transformations can be sighted for Alphabet (a.k.a. Google), Microsoft, and Amazon. Transformation was key to their growth and success. Incidentally, these four companies are the top four companies in market capitalization in the world.
We’ve heard slogans like, “BI and Analytics enables business insight.” But what good is insight if you cannot translate that knowledge into action? Thinking about this, I can hear “Knowing is half the battle.” When my boys were young, they were both fans of the G.I. Joe cartoons, and hearing this slogan repeatedly left a significant impact on me, even as a dad. Knowing really is half the battle when it comes to data and analytics. If you’re in an ad hoc state of knowing and understanding your business, achieving true insight can seem insurmountable.
Some still do not understand the true value of data driven insights, and one of my clients stands above all others in this space. Their business is growing fast; year-over-year revenue growth has been fueled by same store growth and the addition of new stores, all with a highly ad hoc and labor intensive BI capability. We’ve fixed some things and put some band aids on many gaps, but I believe that now is the time to transform how the organization gathers and digests information. Eventually, intuition and ad hoc analytics will reach its limit and then the reactionary work to address their needs becomes slow, risky, and compounded by all of the time they’ve spent ignoring the challenge.
The truth is, some companies are successful and grow because they have a great product, and they understand their market. But, truly ridiculous growth happens when you take a great product with solid understanding of the market, and combine it with transformative insights.
If one end of analytics maturity is characterized by ad hoc and labor-intensive hindsight, the other end of the spectrum is transformative analytics. Between ad hoc and transformative, there are truly incremental steps of value that will help every company achieve operational efficiency and growth opportunities. Knowing what is happening, what is likely to happen, developing a strategy to achieve those results, and executing an incremental plan takes a company from being “Apple Computer Company” to “Apple”.
Every analytics journey is unique. There are no cookie cutter solutions to move from ad hoc to transformative. There are no short cuts or magic pills. However, with focus on incremental value, accurate and information-based prioritization, and a broadly understood and supported strategy, companies can achieve the transformative state quicker and with less risk.
Break through; it’s time to get transformative.
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If one end of analytics maturity is characterized by ad hoc hindsight, the other end is transformative analytics.
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