4 Tips For Making Analytics A CIO’s New Secret Weapon

Will Numbers Make The CIO More Valuable To The Company?
Will Numbers Make The CIO More Valuable To The Company?

When you become CIO, how are you going to get your seat at the company’s strategy planning table? All too often today’s CIOs are basically second class citizens in the company’s C-suites. Something’s gotta change…

Say Hello To Your New Best Friend: Analytics

Thomas Davenport is a really smart guy who has written a book called
Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning. It’s all about how companies can use analytics to become more successful.
Sure we’ve all heard the term, but what does it really mean to use analytics? Davenport says that firms that do this are using numbers to both outthink and to outexecute their competition. Hmm, that sure sounds like something that a CIO would want to be a part of…

Just How Can A CIO Use Analytics To Make The Company

The companies that are using analytics to become successful are the well-known names that we’re all familiar with: Amazon, FedEx, Capital One, and Hannah’s Casinos to name a few. Davenport has studied these firms and he says that they are all doing four things that are allowing them to dominate their markets:

  1. Capability: the firms are using their analytic know-how to support a distinctive strategic capability
  2. Wide Net: the use of analytics is not limited to just one department. Instead these firms are making analytics available throughout the entire company so that multiple departments can use them.
  3. Support: the use of analytics is not a skunk-works project. Instead at the most successful companies it has the support of the senior management.
  4. Good Bet: the company is putting its money where its numbers are and has made a significant investment in its analytics capabilities in order to beat its competition in the marketplace.

Future Trends

Sure the use of analytics requires a CIO to set up the IT infrastructure that is needed to crunch the numbers that the company collects as a part of doing business. However, even more is going to be required in order to remain competitive tomorrow.
Forward looking firms realize that unstructured data such as blogs and wikis are where additional golden information now lies. The CIOs at those firms are busy creating the tools that will be needed to go out and mine the Internet in order to get the feedback that they’ll be needing in order to remain competitive.

What All Of This Means For You

When you become CIO, you’re going to have to find ways to make the company more competitive if you want to be part of the company’s strategy team. This means that you’re going to have to start using analytics.
Using the four techniques that we outlined will be a good place to start to use analytics. However, as time progresses you’re also going to have to develop new tools in order to get additional inputs for your analytical engines.
CIOs that can find ways to turn mountains of data into actionable intelligence are the ones that will be best positioned to become successful and to help their companies become market leaders.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills

Question For You: What kind of IT staff do you think a CIO will need to hire in order to be able to start to make the best use of analytics?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If for some reason, a company’s critical applications stop running, run incorrectly, or divulge private data to bad guys, there’s a good chance that the company is going to quickly have a new CIO. If only there was some way to make software more reliable so that CIO’s could spend their time focusing on the things that really matter…