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Driving Analytics Adoption: How to Get Employees to Use Advanced Analytics to Realise ROI

Communicate, educate, cultivate. How to shift your organisation's mindset to unlock insights and drive impact

Unlocking the full potential of analytics requires more than just deploying the latest models. Learn how to activate your organisation and shift mindsets to drive widespread adoption.

Analytics implementations often fail to achieve expected value. Discover how to go beyond the models and transform your organisation into an insight-driven enterprise.

Generative A.I., Metaverse, Quantum Computing, Oh My! In today’s competitive world of rapidly advancing technology, the imperative to leverage insight-driven decision making has become increasingly urgent. And while some companies may be ready to pivot and adopt cutting-edge technology, most organisations are still struggling to realise value from current investments in advanced analytics.

Consider the scenario in the image above. This could look familiar to anyone who has gone through a large-scale analytics implementation.

Despite building high quality analytics solutions with good quality data, leaders are unable to realise the benefits as laid out in their original business case. Often solutions sit on the “virtual shelf” as business users resist the change and disruption to BAU.

Simply put, organisations do not have the right DATA MINDSET, resulting in untapped potential in the magnitude of millions of pounds.

How do you Shift Organisational Mindset to Activate an Insight Driven Organisation?

The three levers Data Leaders can leverage to shift mindset and nudge the organisation towards the scaled use of analytics include communicating value, developing data literacy, and building a data culture.

Communicating Value: Defining “What’s In It For Me”?

As any Data & Analytics leader knows, only a portion of value is realised through the use of a particular analytics solution. The majority of value derives from the scaled use of insights across the organisation to inform strategic decisions.

For example, consider a recent Tech organisation which set out to become a leader in the market by enhancing their customer’s experience through data. Through the initial proof of value phase, the team identified £10m to unlock by delivering a suite of analytics models. This was projected to grow to £109M when rolled out across all regions. With numbers of this scale, one might think internal stakeholders would be advocating to receive this solution first. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite! The solutions were too complicated for users, they didn’t understand how to interpret the insights, and, most importantly, didn’t trust the data.

Here’s what the Data & Analytics teams missed, in their effort to provide best-in-class solutions: they did not work with their “end customer of analytics” to define where the business saw potential value. The business wasn’t involved in shaping the solution and so it felt done “to them” rather than done “with them”. This resulted in minimal adoption and use of tools.

Early and often engagement with business stakeholders is critical for a successful transformation. The value narrative must link to the organisation’s overall ambitions, so stakeholders have line of sight from adoption of the new tool to their own strategic objectives.

Developing Data Literacy: Upskilling A Data Confident & Capable Workforce

Insight Driven Organisations that invest in upskilling and developing Data Literacy capabilities of are more successful in consistently unlocking value from their data. This does not mean turning everyone into a data scientist! What it means is you must develop skills across the business that allow employees to ask the right questions, identify the root cause issues indicated by data, and readily translate and share insights across the organisation. A data literate workforce allows you and your organisation to achieve a range of significant advantages, including making informed decisions, greater opportunity identification, and developing Insight driven strategies.

A large beverage manufacturing company had recently invested significantly in a platform to manage performance across the enterprise by bringing together data from supply chain, commercial, and finance. While teams were relatively mature with data in their own function, they were unable to widen the aperture and distil insights to drive enterprise performance. One reason was that teams were not asking the right questions of their data since they were looking at performance in a silo. The team went through a data literacy programme and were coached to take a hypothesis led approach by asking the right questions, investigating the underlying why, and presenting succinct recommendations to execs. This resulted in faster, better decision making as well as increased adoption across teams.

Building a Data Culture: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Data Culture is the collective feelings, beliefs and behaviours of people who use data in an organisation. A culture with the right data mindset is one where every person is willing to make decisions, change processes, and adapt behaviours based on insights rather than intuition or tradition.

Culture change takes time but can be achieved through small but consistent initiatives designed to shift behaviour. There are five key approaches, or behavioural nudges leaders can use to help encourage the right data behaviours: Developing Social Norms, Role Modelling, Gamification, Commitment Devices, and Simplified Communications.

At a recent Public Sector client, Data Culture became front and centre as the organisation set an ambition to use data as a strategic asset. Initial survey results revealed an organisational mindset that indicated a lack of trust in data and across departments. The team set out to build a stronger, more empowering data culture. As part of this initiative, they identified pain points around data sharing and availability. A pilot programme was launched to shift mindset and encourage use of data by redefining social norms around data sharing across teams, role modelling behaviours of discovery, collaboration, and experimentation through communities of practice, and delivering simplified communications through an existing network of data champions. This culture campaign focused on building confidence and trust in data across the value chain from front line staff all the way to senior civil servants.

Closing Thoughts

Activating your organisation by communicating value, growing data literacy, and building a data culture is the missing link to unlock value from the scaled use of insight-driven decision making. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into each of these three levers individually in our upcoming blog posts.

If you would like to understand what activation can unlock for your organisation, come and do an IDO Scaling Lab with us. We deep dive the 3 topics of value, literacy and culture with your people in mind, explore and prioritise the cultural levers which will be key to your success and develop a personalised, actionable roadmap so you know the steps you need to take in turning ambition into action.

Don't get left behind – get started today.

Note that you can check out our latest IDO playbook to explore how we make this happen in practice, along with all the rest of our in-depth guidance on becoming an Insight-Driven Organisation.

Key Contact:

Sophie Bennett

IDO Labs


Shalini Gupta

Stuart Byford