As with architecture, the strength of any design is incumbent on the strength of its foundation. And similar to architects, business analytics practitioners must engineer an analytics framework that’s built to last. With your business challenges outlined, you can start constructing the foundation that’s built on data.

From our own experience and the interviews we conducted with analytics leaders, we’ve noticed a data trend—namely, that disparate data sources once relegated to single departments or to silos within the organization are being integrated into a unified data vision at the most progressive companies. For example, it used to be that HR data were created and stayed within HR, marketing research data were created and stayed primarily within marketing, customer service data were created and siloed in the service department, and so on. Yet executives whom we spoke to at the most successful companies indicated that the traditional lines of data and intelligence are being blurred. More specifically, companies are leveraging data across departments and breaking down traditional data silos, in order to address the business challenges of the organization. In our view, this is a natural evolution of becoming a data-driven organization. Usually, the critical business challenges cut across departments and really don’t care where data are located—they simply demand answers. Truly progressive business analytics leaders understand this and set up a data strategy ...

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