Why is there still such a hesitance and conservatism by most organizations to apply even the most basic analytical best practices? Let me try multiple answers:
- The sheer number of non-analytical people versus data driven employees creates an unbalanced situation where analytics will always play a minor role. Most organizations have less than 1% of their work force in data driven functions but over 50% in generic business processes that are mundane in nature. This will change only very slowly.
- Analytical corporate individuals are still rather shy in fighting for the top position in large corporations. Unfortunately most of them are comfortable in their mid-level management positions or individual contributor roles instead of possessing the guts to “own” and lead the corporation.
- Corporate Myths have an amazing staying power. It’s more difficult to understand the internal corporate myths of any given organizations. Only the analytical dissection of these myths enables the proliferation of more data and analytical driven attitudes and processes. And this is more work than most of us ever imagined.
- Wrongly applied analytics are not just a detriment to positive results but a real set back for organizations in their quest to be more data driven. These wrong applications can reside in the belief that analytics are an automatically generated silver bullet instead of a significant guiding input for decisions, or analytics are used to stifle the creative process of innovation instead of inspiring new ideas by using fact based inputs. And there are many more ways of misapplying analytics and create a circle of backlash stories.
Only the positive and successful examples of “converted” companies into analytically focused organizations will bring additional pressure for anyone who remains on the sideline. It’s a slow moving conversion one company at a time. And it will take longer than most of us expect. But fortunately there is no way backwards.