During my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with numerous data scientists. And over the years, I have become an advocate of the need for this special skillset to produce critical information for decision-making.
As I read this article in Harvard Business Review, I started recalling some of my own experiences in all the data analytic scenarios mentioned.
The point the author makes about “data analytics are unearthing inefficiencies and misconceptions that complicate leadership and disrupt conventional thinking” is very true.
If the analysis outcomes are not desirable, the company culture evolves into one where information is no longer openly shared for fear of judgement.
Companies’ internal dynamic goes from “knowledge is power”, i.e. let’s share with one another to prosper, to a different interpretation of “knowledge is power”, i.e. let’s keep the info to ourselves and leverage only when necessary.
So what does this mean…
Many well-intended dollars are invested in recruiting these skills.
Yet, oftentimes, because of the perceptions mentioned earlier, it leads to a proliferation of reports (which get mistaken for analysis, although one has nothing to do with the other).
Or it leads to an increase of analyst recruitments to improve upon or refute the original analysis.
If done right, meaning with support of stakeholders and working with the right business leaders, data analysis can be our best source for obtaining helpful information for decision-making. I also agree with the author that the best start is to: “Identify a small number of “high-leverage” business problems that are tightly defined, promptly addressable, and will produce evident business value, and then focus on those to show business results”. If the intended analysis is conducted on a targeted set of critical data points (rather than everything imaginable) there’s a higher chance of generating results quickly, demonstrating value to the business and gaining support of the findings.
Tags: Damla Zeybel, ARYA Effective, ARYA, ARYA-Effective.com
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