Are you looking for the secret to developing an analytics strategy and roadmap? Start with an AVR.
What is an AVR?
AVR is the acronym describing a methodology for establishing a personalized and actionable enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) or Analytics Strategy, spanning the core activities of Assessment, Vision and Roadmap. It is an engagement model that guides an organization through an enhanced gap analysis which results in an agreed upon roadmap for future success that is demonstrable and measurable.
AVR seeks to answer three critical questions:
- What are you capable of today?
- What would you like to be capable of tomorrow?
- How will those new capabilities transform your business?
The assessment step of an AVR looks at people, process, technology, and data. It identifies challenges and opportunities by looking at the ways your organization operates. Within an assessment, questions like “What data do I wish I had access to?” and “Are we using these tools to the fullest advantage?” are answered by members across the organization.
Data assessments first begin with maturity. Within an AVR, you can review core data governance challenges and opportunities by reviewing Data Architecture, Program Management, Metadata Management, Data Quality, and Security and Privacy.
We believe, however, that people are the most important element of an analytics strategy initiative, because data has no power without people. Transforming into a data-driven organization requires change in leadership and culture, and to drive change you need change agents.
A good vision serves as the destination for your analytics journey. Companies invest in BI solutions for many reasons. Some are focused on a single version of the truth or reducing repetition in reporting. Others are embracing a decentralized, self-service model where individuals are given the tools to drive their own analysis. Regardless of the reasoning behind any initial investment, the future vision of BI capabilities must consider all of the purposes data and analytics can serve within an organization now that these capabilities are possible.
BI teams need to work with the various lines of business to ensure that all your visionary departments are being served with regular data and insights. If the solution cannot expand to fulfill every department’s needs, IT can bring in external consultants to deploy additional resources in a controlled environment that aligns with the overall strategy.
Before any BI effort commences, and periodically after one has been deployed, we recommend a review of the intended destination, to determine if the data environment that was built is still the right one. This can be accomplished through writing a clear vision statement. When crafting your new vision statement, try to avoid vague or overly technical vocabulary. Focus on defining a vision for business outcomes that can be supported by BI initiatives.
Start by asking these two questions when crafting a vision statement:
- What would you like to be able to do with data/ information that you cannot do today?
- How would that transform the way you do business?
Once a vision is in place, and an organization understands where they stand both currently and progressively across people, processes, technology, and data; you have identified your gap. Now it’s time to craft your analytics roadmap to close that gap.
A business intelligence roadmap is a planned and prioritized series of initiatives, including required processes, and organizational development, that drives your organization towards an agreed upon vision of a successful future state. In a literal sense, the BI Roadmap should resemble a Gantt chart that maps out projects in chronological order, prioritized by urgency, ease and bandwidth, with clearly identified milestones, metrics for success and demonstrable business benefit. The length of your roadmap can only be as long as the time it takes you to accomplish your vision, which should not be more than 24 months in the future. Typically, the roadmaps we help produce through the AVR process range from 9 to 15 months, depending on the amount of work required.
Your completed roadmap should do more than mandate a list of projects, it should tell a story of how your company will innovate and transform through enhanced business processes. The Roadmap should be short enough that it does not need to be considered a living, breathing document. It should be an established guideline that will ensure your overall strategy is adopted, if the roadmap is followed. At the end of your roadmap timeline, it will be time to create a new vision statement.
Bringing it Together
A roadmap can tell you directionally where your next sharp turn is, but an experienced driver knows how to track conditions, estimate weather, and foresee other bumps in the road which might affect their path. That’s the value of partnering with an experienced consultancy like 3Cloud on your BI Strategy. It’s an investment that can save you time and money in the long run.