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Avoiding the pitfalls – staying focused on the purpose not the process of analytics

Avoiding the pitfalls – staying focused on the purpose not the process of analytics

It’s all too easy to be ‘seduced’ by technology and eye-catching charts and graphs when introducing business analytics into an organisation, a leading business expert advises.

Dr Pietro Micheli, Professor of Business Performance and Innovation at Warwick Business School, says it’s vital to focus on the primary objective: to inform strategic thinking and not allow the process of collecting and analysing data become an industry in itself.

He focuses on how organisations can avoid pitfalls when introducing business analytics, in the third of a series of vlogs for Crown Workforce Management. The videos accompany a free guide to ‘Demystifying Business Analytics’ available from www.crownworkforcemanagement.com/demystifying-business-analytics

“It’s easy to get excited by new technology and our ability to identify lots of patterns and create charts and graphs. We suddenly have all this data about our performance but that’s only helpful if we do something with it. Gathering data, in itself does not add value, it is how that information is used to support our strategic objectives, which is important,” he says.

Identifying objectives, for example, to be more innovative, more efficient or provide a better service, should drive the investment and usage of analytics.

He also warns against allowing business analytics to be the preserve of the few.

“Many organisations tend to think of business analytics as a function, which is correct, but it is not just something that a few select, competent people should do. It is something that should be more pervasive. Analytics has to become what we do when we make decisions as opposed to a remit of a small group of people.”

Finally, Dr Micheli touches on a tendency to over-emphasise the power of analytics – allowing it to become a replacement for good leadership or management.

“We still have to lead and provide a clear picture of the future, energise employees and get their commitment and engagement, and explain how we want to use resources and co-ordinate people.

“Analytics is a support to that: it is a better understanding of our ability to address issues such as capacity and how to address demand but that’s not a replacement for leadership and management, so while analytics can play an incredible role, it’s how we make use of data that matters,” he concludes.

To view the vlog, ‘What are the Main Pitfalls We Should Avoid?’ go to: http://www.crownworkforcemanagement.com/videos/demystifying-business-analytics-part-3/