Automation is here to stay


Five essential building blocks to becoming an insight-driven organisation

Insight driven organisations (IDOs) turn decision-making into a strategic advantage by uncovering insights their competitors lack.

We live in a world flooded by data, where breathtaking change is a daily occurrence and disruption is the norm. Legacy organisations are coming to realise that they can no longer approach analytics as a discrete function. Instead, they are looking for ways to become insight-driven organisations (IDOs)—ones that turn analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) into a core capabilities across the enterprise by promoting a culture of data-driven decision-making.

The true strength of data and analytics lies in its ability to help leaders make more informed, more effective and more intelligent, business decisions. This is the value of becoming an insight-driven organisation (IDO). Too often, organisations struggle to realise tangible benefits from their analytics investments. That is because it is no longer enough to turn data into insight; you need the ability to turn insight into action.

This is the promise delivered by becoming an IDO —an organisation that injects analytic insight into every decision it makes. By using data, statistical and quantitative analysis, and visualisation tools and techniques, IDOs empower their people to use insights to change the way they do business.

For an organisation to become insight-driven, you need to address five essential building blocks:


Setting strategy requires executive sponsors and champions to carefully define their analytics objectives, identify desired outputs and align the analytics journey with the organisation’s broader goals, business plans and win strategy. Components include describing your vision, building a business case, committing to continuous improvement and gaining—and maintaining—key stakeholder support. Every industry and business is different. To establish meaningful KPIs, you will need to determine what most clearly correlates with your organisation’s goals. High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, finance, operations, marketing, HR, and others. Realising that you can only improve what you measure is a good way to think about KPIs.


To become an IDO, organisations need to build an analytical culture as well as identify the champions and develop analytics talent. By marrying “red skills” (data scientists, technology architects and software developers) with “blue skills” (change managers, political navigators and senior executive influencers), we build teams that combine statistical, data management and technological skills with communication, business acumen and political know-how to drive analytics success.


Beyond capturing, certifying the accuracy of and distributing the right data, organisations need processes to turn data into insight and to act upon that insight. This involves more than generating retrospective insight limited to siloed teams or functions. Instead, it enables prescriptive insights capable of guiding a company’s decision-making. To build this capacity, you need a solid governance framework and operating model, embedded measurement frameworks and a feedback mechanism.


Rather than confining their analytics focus to internal structured data sources, IDOs tap external and unstructured data sources—including social channels and external data points that can enhance decision-making, risk analysis and scenario planning. In addressing their data requirements, IDOs also put well-designed information models into place, adopt a realistic approach to data quality, ensure regulatory compliance and carefully consider the ethical implications of how they use their data.


To build an effective analytics platform, you need a well-thought-out solution architecture, people with the requisite technical skills, a delivery model to disseminate insights across the organisation and a structured approach for collaborating with your third-party technology partners.

Becoming an IDO involves identifying a sponsor and setting up a governing body to align analytics activities across business units. Executive sponsorship is vital to this level of organisational change and the best champion sits in the corner office. It means extending your focus beyond technology and data to encompass strategy, people and process. And it hinges on engaging in short, sharp, agile pieces of work that create value quickly, without requiring big up-front investments.

The result of becoming an IDO? Beyond creating one source of the truth, you gain the ability to grow revenues, reduce costs, mitigate risk and compete more effectively.

Boards of Directors and executives are placing analytics at the top spot, followed by AI, which is very much related, according to a technology survey by Gartner*. Buying and using analytics tools is not hard—changing behaviours is. Organisations and service providers that do not infuse analytics into their day-to-day business and applications are at a material disadvantage compared to their peers. By emphasising education, enlisting executive sponsors, and modelling and rewarding the right insight-driven behaviours, organisations doing business in this age can benefit from human collaboration made greater with AI and analytics.  

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