How often have you considered why some report or analysis is done and for what purposes? What someone has been trying to achieve with that? Is a tangible benefit achieved with the analysis and is the analysis integrated to business processes or decision?
I walk many times into situations during my customer interactions where company has spent lots of hours and effort to develop analytical solutions which are forgotten after few months. Once time passes by, no one can specify why was the solution implemented because it’s not part of any business processes. To avoid these kinds of situations I recommend few key points to begin the discussion with and to consider before implementing anything.
Start from Strategy. Instead of thinking what technology could or could not do or what data is available, start to think what you want to achieve with that specific analysis. This will guide you to more questions and to answer where it’s being used and for what purposes. Defining that, it will be more likely that analysis is more integrated to business processes and it will be used in the future as well.
Set dimensions and measures. Once you know what you want to achieve with that specific analytics solution, you should set dimensions and measures where you want to have the answer to. After this, think what could be the source for the information and how accessible it is. It could be that the information is not accessible or doesn’t even exist currently, but that it could be gathered with small investment (e.g. implementing sensors to track customer cell phones signals at the supermarket to identify how many customers are at store and where they spend most of the time.). Or maybe you could add specific information to your ERP system to be used in the analytics solution.
Analyze the data that you have and received from the sources. Analyze how it will give answers to your questions and objectives which you set when defining the strategy. Analyzing the data can be experimental and you might need to fine tune your analytical solution once in a while. Remember to also take into account the reliability of the analysis.
Report findings. It’s no use to implement Analytics solutions if data is just gathered to data warehouses and not used anywhere. Analyze the gathered data, visualize and report findings and incorporate them in your business processes. New technologies streamline the access to data quite easily and self-service reporting tools help users in visualization of findings and reporting them further.
Act and change how you make decisions! How often your company uses reporting- or analytical solution as part of decision making? Is it used to steer the company to certain direction e.g. sales? Is the decision making based on gut feeling or real information?
Come and meet my colleagues for a chat at the SAP Innovation Forum Accenture stand to find more about different analytics solutions and how your business and processes could be improved through analytics.
Joona is Leading the Accenture’s SAP Data & Analytics domain in Finland. He is passionate on how data can be utilized to drive tangible business benefits.
Accenture is one of the event partners in SAP Innovation Forum 2017. #SAPFORUM
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