I recently presented a webinar that explores and explains several key pieces of research we are actively working on. The webinar is called How to Put Data and Analytics at the Heart of Your Digital Platform and you can watch it here at any time. the webinar is a slightly updated and based on this research note, Build Your Digital Business Platform Around Data and Analytics, that was itself based on a presentation we shared last year during Gartner Symposium season around the world.
The two ideas encapsulated by this webinar are these:
- We tend to talk too much about data and analytics and technology – so how else can we talk and communicated the value of data and analytics in a business context?
- What are the key components or pillars of a data and analytics platform?
The former item can be summed up with decision making. So feel free to review the webinar (and note) to explore ways to explore how organizations and (business) people take decisions. You will determine that a simple ideas as this, to talk about how decisions are taken, will touch on data and analytics, but also business process, context, people, business applications and execution. This will help shift the focus from the “best dashboard” and “self-service adoption” to “how to improve business outcomes”.
The second item is more subtle and also forward thinking. The second items itself includes two messages:
- What are the pillars comprising of a data and analytics platform (that connect, data, analytics, process, people and execution)
- What is the difference between an atlas and a road map
The first item is very important given all the hype in the market. Any data and analytics platform will include some degree of THREE actual platforms:
- Analytics/BI/Data Science
- Data Management
- Data and Analytics Governance
The first platform is well known – and includes any number of analytics vendors and tools, and process and skills etc. The second is important since it plays a role in integrator (among other things) with the rest of the digital business platform. The third one is problematic since these don’t even exist yet – they are forming up and will take several years to mature (or even appear clearly). So most organizations will have to glue their own data and analytics platforms together for the next few years, so watch out for the hype from vendors!
At the same time the idea of a decision also highlights another gap in the technology platforms in the market today. Most if not all of the analytics, BI and data science vendors do not model decisions very well. Most don’t even model them at all – they are implied in their solutions. However, vendors in two other markets do model decisions to different degrees; those in Business Process Management and also the narrow niche market of decision management. But even these are not homogeneous – they vary in complexity and completeness. We are watching for convergence in these markets.
In terms of atlas versus road maps:
- An atlas is not what you will do; it described the entire set of things you might consider
- A road map IS what you plan to do; and all road maps should be found or built from the same atlas
Lastly, as I noted on stage at this year’s Gartner Data and Analytics Summits, technology platforms are one thing. Organizations also need to have the right workforce skills and management organizational practices and processes. This is another exciting area right now, as I noted specifically in the area of data governance: See Effective Data and Analytics Governance – Finally!. My colleagues, also on stage, shared their research as it pertains to the analytics and data platforms, as well as the skills and organizations models needed.
Hopefully the webinar is valuable. Do let me know.