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

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ESTABLISHING DIRECTION

Business analytics managers face a variety of delivery challenges. Above all else, they need to:

  • Create and maintain value in the short term
  • Demonstrate their ability to innovate and create organizational competitive advantage

When initiatives are treated in isolation, they run the risk of creating conflicting management priorities. For example, focusing purely on short-term value often results in firefighting, preventing the organization from developing and reusing a true competency. Although the team may deliver regular value, it will often fail to take advantage of the efficiencies involved with reusing existing competencies.

Equally, when a team focuses purely on creating competitive advantage, it is easy for project timelines to slip from months to years. Although the team may eventually realize its target competitive advantage, the risk is that turnover or an internal restructuring may prematurely halt the project, rendering the team’s significant investment in time and effort worthless.

Balancing these requires a good understanding of how short-term value creation will map into creating competitive advantage. Doing this involves an understanding of:

  • What types of initiatives a team can deliver
  • The different types of value these initiatives usually create
  • How these initiatives can be structured into a strategic road map

Defining Tactical Initiatives

Viewed from the outside, a business analytics team is involved in a variety of activities, some of which ...

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