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Many CEOs have been content for others in their organizations to own the practice of business analytics. But with data playing a bigger role in value creation, many are seeking a different approach. The more comfortable CEOs are with business analytics, the better prepared they are to orchestrate the analytics responsibilities of their direct reports.
While CEOs may benefit greatly from insights gleaned from data, few have seen the practice of business analytics as a worthy place to invest their own time. That’s not surprising, given the competing demands for their attention. After all, analytics has always been considered a tactic, and it’s hard enough for CEOs to stay locked in on strategy.
But today analytics is rising as a strategic issue as data becomes increasingly more plentiful—and more valuable. From analysts and equity firms to shareholders and beyond, CEOs are increasingly fielding more questions about analytics. For many, that means analytics has landed squarely on their agendas. In some cases, it has even changed the makeup of the executive suite, as chief analytics officers begin to join the ranks.
What’s at stake
Many analytics operations focus on routine reporting with occasional bursts of innovation. And why not? It’s easy, it carries little risk, and it doesn’t require big thinking. That’s why CEOs should step in. They’re the leaders who can ask strategic questions that force analytics teams to stretch into new areas and opportunities. Even in organizations that understand the potential importance of analytics-driven insights, there is often a critical lack of accountability within the C-suite. CEOs are responsible for enforcing accountability—and determining whether they themselves have primary responsibility for analytics or if responsibility rests with other C-level leaders.
Analytics connections with other roles
For CEOs, all C-level reports are important—not just a few of them. The CEO’s job is to act as the orchestrator, making connections that individual CXOs aren’t in a position to see, and demanding real business insights—not just more meetings.
Crunchy questions for CEOs
While CEOs will rarely engage with analytics directly, they should be comfortable orchestrating the analytics responsibilities of their direct reports in the C-suite. It doesn’t fall to the board, or to the chief analytics officer, or the CIO. It’s the CEO’s job. Unfortunately, many CEOs are missing out on the opportunity to set the strategic direction for their organizations’ analytics investments—and measure their progress. As a result, business-critical questions continue to go unanswered.
Learn more about CEO Analytics and crunchy questions that CEOs should be answering today with analytics.
Corner Office Analytics infographic
Business analytics used to be the domain of a few select teams buried deep in the business. Today, it lands on the agendas of most CXOs. And success hinges on CXOs’ abilities to collaborate with one another. In our Corner Office Analytics series, we’re focusing on the analytics needs of these senior leaders—and how they intersect with one another.