It’s interesting to note that many professionals talk of their business as “practices.” Business analytics is similar. While best practices exist, there’s no “end-game” as such.1 Instead, it’s all about being better. Innovation and differentiation come from improving in some way.
Business analytics is a discipline in every sense of the word. It’s of limited value when treated as a series of ad hoc activities. Instead, scale requires structure and definition. It rarely drives competitive advantage when applied functionally and treated as a diversion. It requires focus and attention. And, it is rarely sustainable when it’s treated as a “one-off.” Real success comes from repeatability and reuse.
Getting all this right takes time. Some research suggests that establishing a new self-sustaining culture can take as long as five to seven years.2 Still, every journey starts with a plan. Whether you’re supporting or driving change, everything’s impossible without knowing not only where the organization is but also where it needs to be. For most, building this understanding only comes with experience.
For someone with a deadline, that’s probably somewhat disheartening. However, there’s a shortcut. By learning from others, it’s possible to bypass many of the dead ends that create delays. Why guess, when there are so many great examples out there?
Part Two describes two models to frame organizational transformation. Everything starts with culture ...