Article

• Sep 05 2021

Why you need business intelligence and data analytics at leadership level

4 min read

The rise of business analytics and data intelligence has changed the way businesses operate. Just look, for example, at how Netflix is able to influence 80% of the content viewed by subscribers by accurately analysing data, or how Starbucks is able to use information about traffic, demographics and customer behaviour to determine where it will build its next coffee shop.

Statistics show that over 33% of large businesses are expected to practice decision intelligence by 2023, while the global business intelligence market is expected to grow to $33bn by 2025. Businesses are waking up to the power of business analytics tools to reduce costs, rapidly respond to business trends, and increase motivation and teamwork.

But the truth is that none of these benefits come without someone proactively making decisions based on the outcomes of data analysis. It’s senior IT leaders and C-suite level employees who will drive the change when it comes to business analytics and data intelligence.

Business analytics and data intelligence deliver opportunities

Business analytics tools help people to understand trends, build patterns and merge data together from different streams so that they can make better decisions. Perhaps you are trying to identify where delays are happening in your supply chain, measure the impact of a team of employees versus the cost of that team, or identifying the success of your marketing approach.

Let’s look at another real-world example. In 2018, PepsiCo created a cloud-based data and analytics platform called Pep Worx, which helps the company and retail partners ID valuable shoppers by location. According to Harvard Business School, Pep Work distinguished 24 million US households from its dataset that would be most interested in Quaker Overnight Oats. These customers drove 80% of the product’s sales growth in its first 12 months after launch.

This is how business analytics and data insights deliver a valuable opportunity. The point is if nobody with the strong data intelligence experience was there to make decisions based on this data, the opportunity would have been lost. That’s why it’s so important that you have leaders who understand the potential of these tools and get the most out of them.

A strong data strategy requires data-driven leaders

Only 26% of companies say they have achieved a data-driven culture, and most companies analyse only 12% of the data they have – that’s why data intelligence must be a driving force that helps define goals and push the business towards them.

To do that, representation at leadership level is needed to communicate the power of a data-driven approach – after all, if senior employees aren’t using data to make decisions, why should anyone else at the company?

Beyond using data to identify challenges and identify opportunities, there’s several ways senior executives can encourage a strong data approach across their business to unlock new benefits. For example, they can enroll staff across all levels of the company in planned educational programmes or stage group exercises that teach staff how to use analytics to solve critical business problems. They could also promote or reward employees who use data intelligence and business analytics often to unlock business benefits, encouraging competition.

The most successful businesses use data intelligence across all aspects of their business. Look at Google, which created a People Analytics team to help its HR department make critical decisions. Using performance reviews and employee surveys, the company found that teams with better managers were more productive, and established 10 behaviors that the best managers tended to share.

Google is now able to use these behaviors when training new managers and assessing their performance – it's an example of how a company can use data to look at its practices and make tangible improvements. But this valuable-data driven journey wouldn’t have happened if Google didn’t have strong data-driven expeditioners to lead it. So, what can we learn from this?

Recruit senior IT leaders who will use data intelligence to benefit your company

Without a clear data analytics strategy with a strong IT leader at the helm, your business might end up with a lot of expensive tools that are collecting data, but which aren’t leading to decisions to improvements.

Dashboards, visualizations, reporting and data mining are all tools that can deliver vital insights for your business. However, you need to ensure that you have leaders with the right expertise on hand to make the right decisions based on those insights.

Do you need experienced data experts to update your business analytics or data intelligence approach? RPI works with businesses to source talent that ignites technology-enabled transformation, helping you get the most out of your business analytics solutions. Contact us to get started today.

RPI provides access to the top leadership and technology talent globally