Jan 21

How CEO can leverage Business Analytics for Organisational Growth

By David Riklan

Business analytics is the new DNA for organisational growth and success. Undoubtedly, companies are rapidly embracing business analytics and implementing it for better results. According to Statista, the global business analytics industry-valued USD 168.8 billion in 2018 and is predicted to go up to USD 274.3 billion by 2022. The business analytics industry is also creating several job opportunities. In the last few years, 'data scientist' has consistently held its position in Glassdoor's "25 Best Jobs in America" list starting from 2016. The numbers are pretty promising. Don't you agree? Nevertheless, despite everything pointing towards a positive direction, you cannot deny that there is still a lack of skill in the market when it comes to business analytics. At least CEOs on a global level believe it to be true. You are probably thinking, umm...that doesn't sound right. Hold on till you hear this. In PWC's 22nd Global CEO Survey, published in early 2019, most CEOs report a lack of analytical talent (54%) and poor data reliability (50%). The severe dearth impacts their business by leaps and bounds, where 52% of the CEOs report that their people's cost is rising more than expected, and 47% say that the quality standards and customer experiences are affected. By now, you must have realised the significance and requirement of business analytics for organisational growth. But are you wondering how a CEO can help in adopting and implementing business analytics? Look no more, because this article will answer all your questions. The role of the CEO in leveraging business analytics for organisational growth CEOs play a crucial role in inculcating business analytics into the organisation for its progress and success. Let us first understand how business analytics can help CEOs. The first and foremost benefit is data-enabled decision-making that paves the way for companies' growth. Business analytics help in understanding market trends, which sometimes gives rise to innovation. Additionally, it enhances customer experiences and relationships, increases organisational efficiency, keeps every management level informed about the company's performance, etc. So you see, there are multiple advantages of business analytics. CEOs have an essential part to play in reaping these benefits. So how can CEO's leverage business analytics for organisational growth? We bring you a comprehensive list of to-dos through which CEOs can take their organisation to new heights by effective use of business analytics. • Gather business data from multiple sources: Business data is scattered and available at different sources. Such information is raw and untreated. Will you be able to gain insights from them? The answer is no. You will have to analyse it before it can be used. However, the first step is to collect all the data in one place. Hence, CEOs must strategise to build a central platform that will give a holistic view of this rich data. Consolidating the data in one platform also makes it accessible to multiple people from various departments. • Identify the right KPIs and metrics: KPIs or Key Performance Indicators facilitate every step of the data-based decision-making process. CEOs can extract vital information from them. Hence, they must identify the right set of metrics and KPIs. The internal teams and different departments need to monitor these metrics to attain specific business objectives. Using irrelevant or redundant metrics will yield irrelevant results and will lead to wastage of time & resources. Let us explain through an example. For instance, sales maximisation is one of the main objectives of all marketing efforts. Here, the success of different marketing activities in generating sales is the metric the CEOs must focus on. • Develop an articulate data strategy: Once the CEO knows what metrics and KPIs need attention, they must formulate strategies to measure and analyse the process. Let us say that the CEO of company X wants its marketing department and production department to monitor a set of KPIs. Both the departments will have to observe a different assortment of KPIs. The CEO must form strategies on how to give access to real-time data to both departments that are relevant to their operations. The CEO should also identify which KPIs will improve the business' growth and accordingly strategise the next course of action. • Study and gain insights from previous data: The CEO should rely on current data to gain insights and drive an organisation. They must also consider the last data while making decisions. Viewing data on a dashboard is not the end but just the beginning. Such data will enhance your decision-making process and help you avoid past mistakes. For instance, in the past, an ad copy published by your marketing team has garnered criticism from the public, and the sale of your product also dropped. Therefore, previous data tells you what to do plus what not to do. • Bridge the gap between the right technology and the right personnel: Human resources are an asset for an organisation. To succeed, having the right set of people is an absolute necessity. CEOs must identify the business analysts their companies need. They can be data scientists, management analysts, information security analysts. The CEOs need to identify the job roles that the right people can fill in. Their work does not end here. These people should be given proper training and access to the right technology to perform their assigned tasks efficiently. • Use the data to help employees: Data benefits in several ways, and most of it is seen in the light of efficient operations or customer satisfaction. However, data can also help the employees of the organisation. Training employees in new data skills might not be sufficient in motivating them to implement them. The CEO must illustrate the advantages attached to using such skills and the ease of work associated with it. We must remember that this may be possible in small companies; however, it can be difficult for the CEOs in big organisations. • Implement a data-driven culture in the organisation: All efforts by a CEO will go in vain if the organisation and its people do not have business analytics at the core. To this date, some organisations are reluctant to adopt business analytics. The CEO can reverse this condition by implementing business analytics into every sphere of the organisation and making it mandatory if required. The scarcity of data skills and poor workforce enthusiasm when it comes to business analytics is a matter of concern for most CEOs. These two can be the main hindrance on the path of growth. The only way to overcome these challenges is by systematically introducing business analytics into the whole company. Next, we have made a quick guide for CEOs that will help them in accomplishing this goal. A quick guide for CEOs to implement business analytics for organisational growth Lack of analytical know-how and budget constraints are two significant challenges faced by CEOs when adopting business analytics. But does it mean organisations will remain estranged from analytics even when they know its potential? That will be disastrous! CEOs can slowly but steadily introduce their organisation towards implementing business analytics in their day-to-day operations. At this point, you might tell us it's easier said than done. Well, we have made a quick guide to help you. We like to call it the L-E-R-M framework - Lead, Educate, Reward, & Make it Mandatory framework. So bring out your notebooks and pencils because we are about to tell you how CEOs can establish a data-driven culture in their organisations. • Lead by example: The CEO of an organisation plays an essential role in shaping the organisational culture. By nature, human beings like to imitate actions that derive results. Hence, it is imperative for you as a CEO to have a thorough understanding of business analytics. Your employees must see you utilising such knowledge from time to time in the organisation. Your example will encourage and guide them into embracing analytics. • Educate before you execute: It is common for employees to resist change. To overcome this resistance, create well-planned learning and educational programs and introduce those at every company level. These programs can consist of problem-solving exercises, hands-on hackathons, and design thinking exercises to improve learners' understanding. Data analytics vendor Splunk sponsored a survey showing that 73% of executives think acquiring data analytics skills is complex, and 53% say they are too old to procure them. Comprehensive training programs organised by CEOs can aid in changing the picture. • Rewards and promotions: This can be another technique of building a data-driven organisation. Employees who actively switch towards business analytics and effectively use data can be recognised through rewards and promotions. However, it must be noted that the employees need to understand business analytics before they execute it into the business. Faulty execution can lead to heavy losses. • Making it mandatory: As a CEO, besides introducing your organisation to business analytics, you can also make it compulsory. In simple words, it would be mandatory for every member of the organisation to attain business analytics skills and utilise such skills effectively for the betterment of the organisation. Conclusion The job of a CEO was never easy. But in a world that is constantly changing, it is even more challenging. Amongst the numerous challenges posed in front of them, leveraging business analytics for effective decision-making and organisational growth is of foremost concern. Companies and their employees often fall back on habit and abstain from change, technological change or procedural change. Change brings in uncertainty along with it, and uncertainty breeds risk. Yet, change is the only constant in a disruptive world. Data shines light upon tentative plans and ideas, justifies hypotheses, and shows the way forward. It is the present and future of organisations universally. Therefore, CEOs must treat data as a fundamental asset of the organisations, equip their human assets with the right skills set, and use the right strategies, tools & techniques to deal with such data to reap greater profits.

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