Analytics is one of the most cutting-edge technologies today, allowing businesses to foresee the future and make decisions wisely. But then, why are analytics projects failing in such large numbers when the businesses have the metaphorical crystal ball in their hands?
Could it be because it is in the wrong hands? And those who can actually do something about the future are not even taking a look at it?
Then here’s the real question. Who should really be in charge of data analytics, the IT department? Is data analytics the same as any other IT project? If not, then should it be the responsibility of higher-ups, the decision makers? Can they even take charge data analytics without mastering any technical skills?
We can only guess that this confusion abounds and perhaps that is why the rate of failure of analytic projects is skyrocketing. Let’s dig deeper and find out why it is essential for analytics to be a business project and not a tech one.
The Involvement of IT Department in Data Analytics
As soon as analytics projects are introduced to a business they fall into the hands of the IT department by default. It makes sense too, right? Analytics involves a large amount of data, software management, numbers, technicalities, and too much tech gobbledygook. Who else to take lead over it than the company’s Chief Information Officer and his subordinates?
It’s true that data analytics has many technical aspects, so much so that it becomes easier to get lost in it, to hand it over to the IT department and completely forget about what it was supposed to contribute towards business value in the first place. The IT department might be doing their job, ensuring the smooth running and management of the data software. And then what?
Then there’s a failure if all that data is just lying there is neat little boxes collecting dust.
And that tells you technology was never the primary focus of analytics. It was getting results for the business, that was the main and sole purpose of data analytics.
Hence proved, data analytics is not a matter of IT, at least not exclusively.
Analytics Projects Failing in the wake of noninvolvement by Businesses
CIO and Iron Mountain revealed that most of the companies are failing in the data analytics projects.
The article and the report by the respective authorities shared that only 4% of companies are seeing success with data analytics, and 43% are getting very minor returns. The report also revealed the shocking detail that out of all the organizations involved in the study, three quarters lacked the aptitude and the crucial technology required to implement data analytics and to gain fruitful results from it.
In addition to these, a number of various other factors were also discovered to be the reason behind tderailing of data implementation derived from the analytics.
Various studies concluded that the main reasons behind failed analytics projects at such a large level involved factors such as culture, capabilities, strategy, inattention to analytics details, and nuances of the implemented tools.
It’s not too difficult to read between the lines and determine that in all these failed cases, the analytics lacked ownership. The IT department that was taking the ownership neither had the authority nor the skillset to take strategic decisions.
Another reason why the analytics failed greatly is that metrics, dashboards, and reports are not made from the ground up by business. It is the business that will drive value from the analytics, and they should be the one to designs the analytics process and have their say.
An analytics project requires the business executives to be highly engaged in it, or else it will never take off. They need to be behind the existence of the analytics project, the execution of this project, and in the interpretation stage of this project. More importantly, they need to lead this project so that can make sure that every other department across the organization is making the best of the data available and supporting it as they should.
Business is More Than a Rubber Stamp
It makes no sense for an analytics program to run with little to no involvement by the business when it should be the real showrunner. Analytics planning by business allows the organization to dig deeper into the requirement of different types of statistical analysis so that they can plan and execute a new strategy.
When a business plans analytics, it is able to make strategic decisions, and remove the ailing factors so that the products reach the consumers faster and the business is able to achieve its goals.
Oh, and whenever they face an issue with the data software they always have the support of the IT department to bake them up. Support, being the key word here. Remember, that the technical factors only account for the 20%-25% of the success of analytics, the rest lies on the shoulders of the entire business.
Let us reiterate. It has to be a business leader–not the chief information officer–who should lead the IT project. Data analytics is a business initiative to achieve meaningful business goals. An IT officer has to be involved, but it is a business executive who should ultimately lead the project.
Analytics Projects Suffering from IT Priorities, Pushing Business Needs Lower
Gartner research director Svetlana Sicular says that IT has a lot on their plate, and with all the new challenges, rapid technological advances, and various other tasks requiring their attention, the fundamental priorities of business are often pushed aside.
As a result, all the company’s investment in capturing data and securing it through software comes to a standstill when they fail to extract value from it.
The bottom line is, businesses should take help from the IT department with data analytics, but never let them run it. Running data analytics is equivalent to running the future of the business and that is certainly not a part of the IT staff’s job description.