How can data analysts contribute to digital transformation?
As a follow-up to a recent Women of Analytics event in Singapore, we thought we'd pose a few questions here in the group. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
- It feels like only the top management can drive digital transformation, any suggestions for data analysts to contribute to the company's digital transformation drive too?
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Data analytics is a huge driver for every company's digital transformation. Having the knowledge of the data assets across an organization and how those data can deliver insight is a key component for every digital transformation journey. Top management will have the vision for digital transformation, but it takes everyone in the company to successfully implement. Upskilling of talent is every employee’s responsibility to support the new way, new processes with new technology to take on the next questions. Data analysts can show leaders how their analytics can deliver new insights and answer harder questions quickly. Do not be afraid to share what you know as you think differently about the business questions being asked.
I have heard that statement many times & I have felt/thought about the same myself. I believe the main reason we feel that is because we are not the ones making the final decision. And hence the feeling that whatever we do, might or might not lead into some kind of transformation.
However it is upto us data people to help/guide the top management in driving this digital transformation. At 7-Eleven we have a set of 7 Leadership Principles. And my favorite one is 'Challenge the Status Quo'. As an analyst, you/me might not have the final say but we do have the freedom to ask the questions, disagree if we have to & recommend a better solution if we can. If we are not doing this, then according to me we are not doing our job 100%.
Once you start challenging others, it leads to new ideas, new questions & new answers. I have multiple examples where I challenged something I felt could be done in a better way. Once I did that, I was asked questions (I was challenged in return) & I came up with solutions that showed the improvement / transformation.
Digital Transformation is not a sprint but a marathon. It won't happen overnight but through multiple small steps. No one person can drive that in an organization but we together as a team can amplify it.
Alteryx enabled me to show my organisation what joined-up data gave in the way of benefits, at scale and pace. Use the novelty of joined up data to get transforming: I started with things which were natural pipelines but had been managed and analysed within silos. I joined our first 12 stage process up from end to end, demonstrated within that novel data view it's stage and end to end TATs and it's leaks and blocks. The ROI efficiency points wrote themselves, I never had to go hunting for accountable folks to push them through. What was previously mired in seeming complexity was surfaced, measurable and improvable. To really sell the whole thing I phrased it as a proof of concept, so the business owners could really own the process improvement. And timed visual delivery to coincide with new visual server. It was not really a concept prpduct though. It was ready to go out of the box. I didn't want to have to make enthusiasim wait on stabilisation.
I'm currently doing a proof of concept suite for the intelligence suite, which should give us another jump start forwards. Choose something big, persist in the corners of time you can gain and gestate until ready for adoption by the business owners.