Turn Analytics Anarchy into a Competitive Advantage: Harness the Power of Citizen Analysts

Turn Analytics Anarchy into a Competitive Advantage: Harness the Power of Citizen Analysts

Has your organization embraced modern business intelligence technologies, such as data visualization? Perhaps IT hasn’t been able to meet all the needs of the business community, so various pockets of these users have gone off and developed their own capabilities. Data visualization tools, such as Tableau and Qlik, empower everyone to quickly and easily build reports and dashboards, and tell a story with the data. Problems arise, however, when different authors start telling the same story. Various analysts begin to share and distribute new reports and visualizations almost daily. Consistency is rare. With this great number of documents circulating, how can the consumers of the information decide which is correct and what to rely on? The rapid creation of uncontrolled reports, data visuals and analyses creates a state of “analytics anarchy” throughout the organization.

A growing force

The lower cost of entry and total ownership of data visualization tools have ignited this “citizen analyst” movement, where everyone becomes a creator of analytics and insight. The citizen analyst movement will continue to gain momentum with the advent of citizen data integration tools like Informatica Rev. Left unmitigated, the actions of the citizen analyst create a state of confusion across the organization. A previous blog on this site by Jakki Geiger from Informatica, along with input from Kurt Rosenfeld, our practice director, speaks more to the citizens analyst movement. See their post:  http://www.cptech.com/blog/tableau-qlik-tools

A new source of insight

Instituted properly, the citizen analyst-enabled culture benefits the business. The function transforms from one that previously could be performed by only a few highly skilled resources, such as IT developers, into one that can be performed across the enterprise by many citizen developers. With analytics as a core and pervasive competency, the organization achieves agility with data-driven decision making. For example, an existing dashboard may show sales trending negatively for a certain demographic. A new analysis may be needed to discover the reasons for the negative trend and drill further. To continue with this example, explore other touch points with these customers, such as customer service or supply chain issues. The additional analyses may highlight issues that should be addressed. The more successful businesses quickly react to emerging opportunities and threats and can make the best decisions when new analyses are leveraged to support the decisions.

A need for simplified distribution

Analytics becomes a strategic advantage when decisions are made in real time based on accurate data. Businesses achieve strategic analytics when IT and the business community strike the proper balance between governance and analyst empowerment. The business rapidly iterates through various data analyses, yet at the same time, IT is able to ensure data accuracy. The organization must empower citizen analysts with the visualization and newly emerging self-service integration tools to build content and allow the citizen analyst to distribute the content to a limited audience. This is easily achieved by allowing a select few citizen analysts to publish content in an area in a portal that a few key end consumers can access. This area on the portal should not be confused with the main areas where certified content exists and is made available for mass distribution. The citizen analyst-created content then acts as a prototype. As the citizen-created prototype gains buy-in and momentum from the end consumers, IT should then prepare it for mass distribution. The prototype becomes the requirement and design for the final, certified product. IT can then focus on the scalability and performance, and then all stakeholders can certify its accuracy before releasing it for mass consumption.

Learn more and find out how Corporate Technologies can help you maximize the value of your citizen analysts with our content development and distribution expertise.


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