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Analytical Thinking: Where Does it Begin?

Analytical Thinking: Where Does it Begin?
In today’s digitally transformative society, companies witness data production at an exponential rate. Additionally, a multitude of tools in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud-computing platforms enable us to leverage these enormous amounts of data. This ‘analytics revolution’, however, demands a lot more than access to data and technology.

For a company to truly reap benefits from this wealth of analytical knowledge, it’s crucial for employees to be familiar with the latest trends. Statistically, 95% of executives state that cultural challenges pose the biggest threats to business success. For this to change, it would require analytical thinking among executives, along with an analytical culture in the company. Here are a few steps on how that may be achieved.

Ensure that analytical capabilities infiltrate into the company from the top

A proclivity towards evidence-based decision-making processes will develop in the organisation only if top level executives display expertise in data. Many companies make the mistake of delegating analytics-related responsibilities to lower level positions, thereby preventing an analytical mindset from taking root in the organisation. While junior employees may have the technological skills, they lack the necessary business acumen to arrive at befitting solutions to problems. Knowledge in specific areas such as design, concepts, and potential biases combined with managerial experience is integral to formulating the right decision.

Implement appropriate measures to ensure effective governance

There needs to be an efficient system in place to oversee that all data related functions take place in accordance with appropriate practices. The application of analytics at scale requires a sound understanding of data architecture and infrastructure in order to ensure effective data management. It is vital that data privacy standards are observed, and that suitable conduct is demonstrated. This regulation should operate at the apex of the organisation. It is imperative that the responsibility of data governance is delegated to people with real analytical knowledge. It is worth appointing a Chief Data Officer in charge of ensuring that data practices are conducted in a disciplined manner, along with a team of data stewards to assist in the execution of policies.

Develop procedures that encourage analytical thinking

With chief data managerial roles reserved for executive level members, it is important to consider the functions of non-executive employees. As discussed in previous blogposts, the best analytical technologies fall flat if there isn’t a culture of data in the organisation. While everyone may not be an analytics wizard, routine practices administered can ensure that every employee reaches a required level of proficiency. For this, daily habits need to be inculcated to nurture analytical thinking. By resolving employees’ doubts and rewarding their efforts, you’d be positively reinforcing analytically oriented pursuits.

Through the above points, it is evident that a proper know-how of technical processes at the pinnacle of the organisation would inspire analytical thinking throughout, thereby ensuring business success. If you would like any further tips or advice on this topic, feel free to drop me an email at david.fitzpatrick@clearstrategy.ie.

Analytical Thinking: Where Does it Begin?
David Fitzpatrick
Director
David, the founder of Clear Strategy, is a leading business and technology professional with over 20 years' experience in Data and Analytics.
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