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The Value of Business Analytics: Identifying the Path to Profitability by Evan Stubbs

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ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Regardless of whether the team is operating under a centralized or a functional model, building an analytics team is not quite as easy as simply hiring a bunch of smart people and hoping for the best. As with most things, doing it well is somewhat more complex. To turn an economic phrase, people with excellent analytics abilities are a necessary but not sufficient condition for success.

At first, this seems counterintuitive—after all, isn’t business analytics all about doing analytics? By that logic, hiring a top-notch statistician should be all that is needed. Although intuitively appealing, that position is true only if applying algorithms is all you do. Within the context of pure research, that is often the case; the outcome of applying analytics is frequently the answer. However, within the commercial and public sector, analytics is always a means to an end; it is a small word, but the inclusion of business in “business analytics” changes the focus.

In the professional realm, the value of analytics is in the action taken from the insight, whether it be new customers acquired or children saved from domestic violence. Because of this, analytics forms only part of the overall picture. Equally important is the ability of the team to:

  • Translate its results into insight and recommended actions
  • Make its processes operational
  • Generate trust through transparency and evangelism
  • Establish efficient processes

Just like any multifunctional team within an organization, ...

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