The Journey

While there is little dispute regarding the high value of—and effort involved in—a Digital Transformation, many we talk to have a hard time putting the initiative into a meaningful context. Capgemini, in their “Going Big: Why Companies Need to Focus on Operational Analytics” report, provide some much needed context and clarity.

They mapped companies based on the extent to which their analytics initiatives were integrated with core operations processes and their success rate with initiatives, identifying four stages of operational analytics maturity:  

  • Game Changers – Just 18% of organizations are “game changers,” which are those firms that have integrated most of their analytics initiatives with their business processes and have realized the anticipated benefits from their analytics initiatives.
  • Optimizers – Some 21% have typically realized early benefits from their analytics initiatives in a limited number of areas within their operations but have not yet scaled up to more complex initiatives.
  • Strugglers – About 20% have integrated analytics in most of their business processes but struggle to realize the benefits.
  • Laggards – The lion’s share, 41%, are introducing analytics initiatives in their operations, they’ve mostly just implemented proof of concepts and lag behind in terms of deriving benefits.

Further analysis of the four stages of operations analytics identified four key organizational attributes that have enabled the Game Changers group to leap ahead of other companies:

  1. Integrated data approach. Leaders in operations analytics are integrating datasets across their organizations to gain a holistic view of operations. 43 percent  of Game Changers have completely integrated datasets compared to only 11 percent  of Laggards.
  2. Routinely use unstructured data. Successful companies enhance the quality of their data by using unstructured data – 59 percent  for Game Changers compared to 27 percent  for Laggards.
  3. Use external data to enhance insights. Similarly, 48 percent  of Game Changers use external data to enhance insights compared to only 23 percent  of Laggards.
  4. Making analytics an essential component of their decision making process. Within operations this is reported by 52 percent  of Game Changers compared to 28 percent  for Laggards.

 The traits of the Strugglers, Laggards and Optimizers are show below.

Many of our clients can identify with one of those groups and understand that it is a journey to become a Game Changer; nothing happens overnight. We do suggest, however, that an optimum framework for Digital Transformation is:

  • Invest time in planning. Define digital business objectives and the design of a data management roadmap to harness new data sources.
  • Gain Executive sponsorship. Ensure executive sponsorship and leadership of big data initiatives. Anything below boardroom level will not be enough to drive lasting change.
  • Establish a Data Governance framework. Create a robust, collaborative data governance framework that enables organizational agility, while incorporating data security, and data quality.
  • Extend the data landscape. Extend existing information architecture by modernizing data warehousing systems while integrating new big data technologies.
  • Foster a data-driven culture. Work towards a dynamic, data-driven culture that involves both executives and employees at the earliest stages in developing, using and improving big data solutions.

Data of all types has the potential to transform the operating effectiveness of organizations – separating the world into data-enabled leaders and those who are struggling to respond. By making the most of their operational data, organizations can make better decisions, bring their products and services to market more quickly and efficiently, and gain the intelligence and insight to compete in a volatile and complex economic environment.

From transforming ways of working, to supporting growth strategy, operational analytics is the big untapped prize of digital transformation. All organizations need to understand where they currently stand, what they can learn from the leaders in this field and begin planning their transformation journey. These capabilities are now central to how organizations – and countries – can outperform their competition.