Having worked in the Data & Analytics (D&A) space for decades, the struggle to gain business insights through data is constant. I’ve used many approaches; some have worked, while others looked better on paper. Over time, however, the path to achieving value has become clearer, so let’s take a closer look.
When trying to start or gain momentum in your business, it’s important to align on value. Understanding the landscape of technologies, processes, and approaches is challenging. The rapid pace of innovation typically sets up the expectation that new technological solutions will help your business thrive. However, this same rapid evolution often makes it difficult to integrate these solutions optimally.
To gain the most from these integration challenges, you must apply a research and development mentality to achieve quick wins. However, uncovering the value of new technologies presents its own challenges. It’s easy to get stuck when there are no easy answers to your technology assessment questions. This slowdown and lack of nimbleness can lead to increased costs and lost time and effort.
But your organizational agility shouldn’t always be your biggest concern; nimbleness shouldn’t always determine direction—nimbleness should inform it. Trying new approaches and technology takes time. And understanding what works and what doesn’t, can better inform future approaches and move your organization toward maturity.
This time investment into new approaches isn’t a step backward: you’re taking the time to understand our organization’s needs so you can refine your strategy. Continuously integrating and building upon new solutions that progressively show value will also help deliver more significant business outcomes.
Getting strategic alignment and seeing quick wins on enterprise-level roadmaps—all while building for the future—isn’t easy. This also takes time and an enterprise mindset. The Gartner Hype Cycle highlights how technology is evolving. However, key trends are consistent, remain dominant over multiple years, and can be folded into your data and analytics strategy. For example, cloud, analytics and business intelligence, artificial intelligence, and IoT are trends that will continue to be popular in the foreseeable future.
Where value comes in
With all these considerations, where do you begin obtaining the most business value? Your best option is to review and choose areas with inefficiencies, where cost saving opportunities exist, or where projects or programs can improve the status quo.
This business value-based approach focuses on minimal investment or a brief time commitment to yield results. Engaging in projects that begin with an aligned business strategy is a start. Then, you need to build a strategic roadmap and a buy-in to a program (not just a project). Understanding that trying and incrementing shifts the overall direction in the right way is important as this propels a project into a program, and further connects to business value.
Even though the landscape seems to be making seismic shifts, there are some consistent technology trends that you can safely integrate into your business. A mindset of nimbleness balanced with the patience to use these solutions can build and inform a strategic roadmap that can set you on the right path and lead to many business wins along the way.
I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to drop any questions or share your thoughts in the comments, and make sure to sign up for updates.