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Real-Time Analytics: Executive and Line of Business Perspectives
Peter Krensky, Aberdeen Group
FEB 18, 2014 04:05 AM
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Later this month I’ll be publishing the latest in my series of reports on real-time analytics. In a recent survey, Aberdeen asked adopters of real-time analytics a simple question: who is the primary driver behind your analytical initiatives? The majority respondents fell into one of two groups: those with analytics driven by executives and those driven by line of business (LoB) decision makers. The questions then became: how does the source of motivation for adopting real-time analytics affect the day-to-day realities and impact of data-driven decisions. This report will explore the pressures piquing interest in real-time analytics in the day-to-day trenches and in the C-suite. It will then compare the organizational philosophies and performance improvements of these two groups.

While both groups of real-time adopters share some motivations, the philosophy behind their analytical initiatives is markedly different (Figure). Seventy-four percent (74%) of companies with executive-driven BI have a single individual or team responsible for collecting and managing operational data, making them 25% more likely than LoB-driven companies BI to organize this way. Executives are more likely to take a centralized approach to real-time analytics across all operational functions. LoB decision makers are less likely to give up management of their own operational data, which can lead to siloing.  Executive-driven companies are also more likely to rely on BI service providers to achieve the consolidation of operational data management.

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Over two-thirds of executive-driven real-time adopters have an open exchange of operational data across business functions, compared to 40% of LoB-driven companies. It is easy for LoB decision makers to become solely focused on their jurisdiction, so it unsurprisingly that LoB-driven adopters place less of a focus on collaboration. This again puts LoB-driven companies at risk for data siloing. Executives recognize the value of exchanging operational data from across all functions to prevent siloing and promote fresh perspectives.

The ability to explore data from other departments by itself will not deliver analytical enlightenment across all lines of business. Executive-driven organizations are twice as likely as the LoB-driven to have an established “information culture” or “culture of curiosity”. It would appear that LoB decision makers are more concerned with obtaining real-time analytics for their own processes than creating a workforce that engages data and forms insights in real-time. Many executives see real-time analytics as a facilitator for a culture where everybody can understand and react to what’s happening, as it’s happening.

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