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Do we need to rethink our traditional process for engaging employees as we embark on our data and analytics journey?

Analytics has evolved from a business initiative to a business imperative, with clear bottom line business benefits. However, organizations find it challenging to connect data, use it to make decisions, and understanding how it can make improvements to business outcomes.

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A recent study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review revealed that the number of enterprises using analytics to create a competitive advantage jumped almost 60% in just one year.

  • Nearly 6 out of 10 organizations are now differentiating through analytics.
  • The overall increase in advantage went almost exclusively to organizations that were already experienced users of decision-making analytics. Early adopters are extending their lead, and the laggards need to worry.

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While many organizations have increased their investments in analytics, few have realized the complete utility of analytics. To ensure organizations reap optimal benefits, leaders must create a data-driven talent culture in which analytics becomes an essential part of talent and decision-making.

To create this data-driven culture, leaders need to rethink how they provide support. For example, they must become decision enablers rather than position their functions as insight providers. They should anticipate decision-maker needs, co-create analytics solutions together and embed insights directly into the organization. Analytics leaders can significantly improve decisions and business outcomes by becoming decision enablers.

Nine levers that create value with analytics when deployed effectively:


  • Establish a common vision to guide actions and deliver value
  • Ensure alignment between analytic focus and value creation
  • Create value with rigor and collaboration


  • Increase knowledge sharing opportunities
  • Create confidence with governance and security
  • Integrate hardware and software to manage big data


  • Make decision based on facts
  • Measure impact and model the future
  • Create trustworthy relationships

The Nine Levers for creating value-driven analytics

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However, each lever has a series of organizational change and adoption challenges:


  • Requires leaders to act as champions; integrate analytics into business processes
  • Requires a clear Change Vision of current versus future state
  • Must assess value realization and communicate wins


  • Increase knowledge sharing opportunities
  • Create confidence with governance and security
  • Integrate hardware and software to manage big data


  • Must change mindsets and decision-making behavior
  • Requires measuring adoption
  • Trust that data analytics adoption will provide a better solution
Overcoming Adoption Challenges

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To overcome organizational challenges and accelerate the time to value of analytics, the below analytics adoption program addresses four key areas: Aligning the Vision and Leadership, Creating Trust, Creating a Data-Driven Culture, and Developing an Organization. This optimizes the use of Analytics, addresses adoption challenges, and defines actions that speed time to ROI.

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Data is only as valuable as the decisions it enables
. If organizations go with the expectation that implementing an analytical tool is only the beginning, the real work still lies ahead. The process often requires the end user to change their mindset and role. In that way, they will be in a much better position to achieve successful user adoption.

Tony Barbera

Cathy Thornton is a VP, HCM and Change Management at Microexcel Inc. She is a well-rounded business transformation professional with proven track record of developing learning organizations, implementing strategic change and partnering with senior business executives to drive organizational impact. Cathy is a builder of high-performance work teams able to develop and implement organizational strategy in a matrix environment. She specializes in Organizational Change, Operating Models, Executive Alignment and Visioning, Culture Assessments, Organizational Effectiveness, Strategic Communications amongst others.

Posted in SAP