¡Viva el tango! (and the adoption of analytics!)


Business adoption of analytics and technology is like a tango.No matter where I go in the world, I’m constantly amazed by the similarities in business challenges facing organizations around the globe.

One of the most common is getting business users to actually adopt and use the insights gained from the great work performed by analytics teams and IT organizations.

I recently had the privilege of visiting the vibrant and cosmopolitan Buenos Aries. This city embodies a wonderful mix of cultures, perhaps best seen it its famed tango.

As someone keenly interested in helping organizations transform themselves and gain maximum value from their data, my conversations with South American business leaders got me thinking about how to solve this challenge. And about the tango.

Like the dancers in an Argentine tango, business and technology teams must move together, sometimes closely, sometimes at arm’s length, but always in time with their data and analytics.

The best tango dancers can convey the feeling and emotion of the music in their improvised movements.

For businesses, technology investment and business objectives must also be in sync. Technology investments must support business objectives and enable better decisions through analytics and the insights they produce.

To ensure business adoption of these insights, organizations must follow three steps.

  1. Enlist active and consistent participation by business users in developing the insights -- Although this may sound like an obvious requirement, many organizations still subscribe to the notion that "if we build it, they will come.” Following this old approach will produce capabilities that may not be used, increase the cost of the information infrastructure, and introduce doubts in IT’s ability to listen to and address the specific requirements of the business.
  2. Put processes in place so the technical team can monitor the use of any new technical capabilities that produce business insights -- Even though business users may have been involved in the initial phase of the design and development, their business requirements will change and the new capabilities and their information content may become outdated or irrelevant.
  3. Provide adequate training to business users -- Every effort should be made to adjust or change the interface for the technology to align with the technical aptitude of the business users.

All organizations want to maximize their return on investment from technology. Business adoption is critical to achieve this.

If like tango dancers, business and technology teams can work and move together, supporting and assisting each other while paying attention to the steady flow of data and analytics, the results will be transformative.

Photo by Luca Boldrini // attribution by creative commons



About Author

Aiman Zeid

Head of Organizational Transformation Services, SAS Global Business Consulting

Aiman Zeid has helped numerous organizations on four continents evaluate their organizational maturity and readiness to deploy business analytics. His focus on enterprise-wide approaches has made him a sought after consultant for starting Business Analytics Centers of Excellence. His new book, Business Transformation: A Roadmap for Maximizing Organizational Insights, shares a structured approach for organizations to achieve maximum value from their data. Zeid has 29 years of experience in information management, business consulting and technical implementation of business analytics and performance management solutions. He holds an MBA and a BS in engineering (computer science diploma) from George Washington University. Prior to joining SAS he worked as a consultant for Battelle Institute and the Hay Group.

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