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How to ensure the ROI of your analytics implementation

Sajid Usman, global managing director for technology, Accenture Analytics | Oct. 16, 2013
Although companies are increasingly investing in analytic capabilities, many fail to see a positive impact on the bottom-line. The good news is proven tactics exist to help businesses get it right. Here's how to overcome the five main challenges to achieving ROI from an analytics implementation.

Although companies are increasingly investing in analytic capabilities, many failto see a positive impact on the bottom-line. The good news is proven tactics exist to help businesses get it right. Here's how to overcome the five main challenges to achieving ROI from an analytics implementation.   

Challenge #1: Lack of business sponsorship and focusing on tactical analytics.Solution: Pursue business sponsorship for an enterprise-wide adoption.
To date, companies primarily function in silos where analytics resources are used to solve an issue in a specific part of the business. Yes, this strategy could work for that single team, but it inhibits the business from receiving optimal benefit. For companies looking to maximize the full potential of their analytics solutions, they should obtain business sponsorship for an enterprise-wide analytics solution as it can remove the silos and enable a business to share a single view, an objective, and information.  

However, gaining this sponsorship can be a business challenge. Accenture research shows many decision-makers still base decisions on intuition and experience rather than on facts. While intuition will always have a place in decision-making, organizations need to make sure facts and data insights aren't easily overruled and are viewed as an asset for growth. When making a decision, businesses should consider both their instinct and data insights, and not just one or the other.

Once sponsorship is received, and whether it's the CEO, CIO or a Chief Data Officer leading a company's data initiatives, it's important to bake the enterprise-wide approach into the business. If this step doesn't occur, a business could continue to function with a silo approach that would generate duplicated labor efforts, budget expenses, and an overall sub-optimized scenario wasting company resources. To avoid this, businesses should drive a sponsorship waterfall of this new analytics approach through its leadership and apply a strategy that will standardize processes, tools and enable information sharing among the larger team.

Challenge #2: Wrong metricsSolution: Measure what matters
When it comes to performance measurement, most organizations create confusion and frustration by measuring too many or inconsistent elements of an analytics project. For example, this can easily occur if a CPG company is tracking revenues garnered from each of its brands and there is an overlap in the brand descriptions chances are different parties will track different interpretations of a brand, therefore creating inconsistent key performance indicators (KPI) revenue numbers.

To simplify measurement, businesses should keep their main business objectives in mind when shaping a strategy and look for a small set of KPIs that will be reliable, consistently measured, accurate and timely. For instance, marketing KPIs could be sales revenue, lead-to-customer ratio, and landing page conversion rates.

 

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