CHAPTER 8 The Analytics Organization

If an organization is to generate valuable operational analytics, it needs the right people. More than that, it must organize those people well to enable them to succeed. Except for the rare, highly mature analytics organization, changes to current organizational structures will be necessary over time. I discussed the topics of analytics professionals and analytics organizations in Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave. This chapter adds additional perspectives and new information. Let's dive into some of the key considerations you'll need to make as you staff, organize, and successfully operate your analytics organization so that it can succeed with operational analytics.

A Major Shift Has Occurred

When I see how the career opportunities for analytics professionals have evolved over the years, it's amazing to me. When I first came out of graduate school more than 20 years ago, I fully expected and accepted that I would be a nerd in the corner in the basement. I'd be let out of the basement every now and then, but mostly I would develop cool analytics behind the scenes. That's what the opportunity was for analytics professionals back then, and I was okay with it.

I like to say that in my first job, I talked to someone who talked to someone who might talk to someone who was a decision maker. I was removed from the business decision makers, and I was also removed from information technology (IT). The combination of my team's spot in the organization ...

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