A lot of people in the public sector talk to me about analytics. They might be just starting out in analytics, or running good-sized teams doing fairly advanced analytics. While the comments can be varied …
“I’m fed up of hearing that we are data rich, information poor.” (Such an easy accusation to make; such a difficult one to refute!)
“The business wants greater insight from my team, while still delivering everything we do now and with no new budget.”
“People don’t know what they want until we give them something, then they tell us they want something else.”
“I don’t have the data and tools to deliver what the business wants me to deliver.”
“My team doesn’t have the skills to do all this new analytics stuff.”
… the common message is that there is a demand upon analytics people to deliver more insight for less cost. That can leave analytics leaders, who are working flat out to deliver the status quo, at a loss: “I need to radically change how we use analytics and I don’t know how to do it”.
Today, people want to access government services in the same way as they do their shopping online, their banking online and even access their TV shows online. This changing mindset of society, combined with increasing pressures to reduce costs, are having significant implications for decision making in the public sector. Across Government, organisations want to understand how they can use analytics to provide more intelligence, deeper insight and increased cost savings to meet the requirements of this ever changing world.
We know, through research by the Economist & Capgemini, that organisations who have embraced the power of analytics and other digital technologies have realised a 26% process performance improvement, as well as generating more profit and revenue. It looks like it is a good thing to do. So how can you radically change your approach to analytics? Here are seven powerful steps that you can take:
1. Agree your vision
Work with your business people to develop a clear direction for how analytics should support the business. This is not a vision for analytics, it is a vision for how analytics will support the business to become intelligence-led.
2. Create a roadmap
The roadmap identifies the key steps and activities that must take place in order to deliver the vision. It helps if you group these into strands, such as skills to be developed, data to be sourced, stakeholders to be engaged, and so on.
3. Build the business case
The business case is how you gain investment for your transformation. There are often three main elements. Firstly, how will your analytics improve business outcomes? More revenue, improved grades at schools, that sort of thing. Secondly, how will your analytics save the business money? Maybe less time spent travelling between sites due to better journey planning or less people required due to better scheduling. Finally, how will your analytics improve your customers’ experience? Think Google pre-populating its search field as you type, or a supermarket offering you a discount on the things you actually want to buy.
4. Get a view on the technology options
Work with IT to get an initial view of technology options and the principles of the technical architecture. What you can be almost certain of is that there is no single software and hardware solution. You will need to bring a whole range of elements together with the ability to add and remove at speed, within the context of an overall architecture.
5. Deliver some proof points
Your stakeholders will need confidence that “all this clever stuff” can deliver results. The proof points will give them, and you, the assurance that the outcomes can be delivered and that the investment will deliver value.
6. Assemble a programme team
By now you’ve probably realised that this is a change programme. As such, you will need to structure it as a programme and bring together a programme team to deliver it.
7. Hold a kick-off event
This might seem like a nice-to-have, yet a kick-off event and continuous business engagement is essential to inspire people and maintain commitment. Without the business and programme team behind you, you might as well ignore the other steps.