I recently joined a small company after spending 8 years at IBM. While there I was fortunate enough to be exposed to some of the world’s best analytics offerings. I also had the opportunity to work with some really strong thought leaders like: Marcus Hearne, Erick Brethenoux, Olivier Jouve, Oliver Oursin and many others. Now that I have moved out of IBM I am feeling the pain many of my former clients feel.
I have become the target audience for many of the analytics vendors out there. IBM, Qlik, Tableau and others all have a shot at my business. So why is that? What is it that makes my company so typical and in such need for easy to use, fast, intuitive analytics that deliver a single version of the truth?
- What business questions to I need to answer? – This is a fundamental issue. Helping to identify the key business drivers has proven much more challenging then I would have thought. Many in the business do not even know what they are trying to understand. This obviously comes with experience and time. But it is really something organizations must do a better job with unless they want to constantly be behind.
- Metrics for the sake of metrics: We measure EVERYTHING and I mean literally everything in our sales organization. On the one had, I am happy from a sales performance management perspective that we have some base metrics. But on the other hand, we have an inability to influence or take action on the metrics. We suffer from “so-what-itis”. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at some of the KPIs and metrics and asked “So what?”.
- Data: How do i put this politely? Our core marketing and sales date is CRAP! We suffer from duplication,a poor data capture approach and a lack of completeness and correctness. When asked: Who is responsible for the data quality? The silence was deafening. Data is the foundation for any organization. Currently my foundation is made of wet, clay bricks.
- Excel! We are excel junkies. All analysis is done in excel…literally everything. And guess what? The visualizations are frickin awful. There is no one, single, governed version of the results (quarter end was particularly enjoyable with finance. They gave one version of the numbers and sales ops provided another.) I personally want to answer: what WILL happen? Think Excel can do that? Yep, you are right. No way!
So what do we need to do to become more analytically driven? For me it is not a question of whether or not an analytics tool will help me. It is a question of how to best approach moving forward…