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Congratulations on advancing to the next stage of the interview process for the Business Intelligence &

Analytics Research Analyst position. The objective of this exercise is to demonstrate your reading
comprehension, research abilities, analytical thinking and professional writing skills.

Our analysts provide insight and advice to IT Leaders in a variety of ways. One common method is through a
‘written inquiry’ request like the one below:

Client Scenario:
You have received a written inquiry request from the Head of Analytics at Starbucks which states the
following:

“I moved into this role a year ago and believe there’s significantly more value our D&A can deliver to the
business… but I’m not convinced the company understands this and there is resistance to new ideas. How
can I get better traction and demonstrate the value of D&A for our business?

Guidelines:
 There is no specific requirement on word count, but please try to be as concise as possible (4-5
pages, adopting the Gartner report format).
 Your analysis should demonstrate strong comprehension of the reference material, but you are
encouraged to introduce new value-added themes if/where appropriate (please try to incorporate
content in your report in your own words and not copy/paste text from reference material or other
sources that you may use to gather information)
 Properly reference any other fact-base sources if used
 Summarize key themes including actionable recommendations for this senior executive.

Reference Materials for exercise (please do not just copy past content from the report):

 How to Create Data and Analytics Everywhere for Everyone: Top Insights for Digital Business
 How to Accelerate Analytics Adoption When Business Intelligence Maturity Is Low
 Drive Analytics Innovation by Using a Bimodal Approach

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Please share your responses here.:

D&A’s role in the future of business strategy is unquestionably huge. The fact is that winning in today’s
markets requires world-class insight and the capacity to change direction at short notice. And the only
way to achieve that is through enterprise-wide D&A enablement. In the past, decision making was largely
driven by intuition and experience; whoever had the best ‘gut feel’ would win. Today, the winners are
defined by who has the more insightful grasp of their data.

Hence, data and analytics leaders must show how their programs both contribute to and are necessary
for an organization’s strategy. Data and analytics (D&A) have been top of the CIO’s agenda for several
years. However, to reach levels of maturity in D&A that have potential to bring about the biggest
advantages, every area of an organization should be developing some proficiency. This means that data
and analytics should be on every executive’s agenda and in some cases even a topic for the board. D&A
leaders should be ready for that.
Remember that almost everything presented to the board is framed as “vital” or “critical”. Gartner
analysts Lydia Clougherty Jones and Frank Buytendijk say it’s important to remember that almost
everything presented to the board is framed as “vital” or “critical” and so it can often be a challenging,
skeptical environment in which many initiatives compete for attention.

The best practices for presenting to the board are not that straightforward. Boards often pose conflicting
requirements. Tips to get better traction and demonstrate the value of D&A for business would be:

Use business language while being prepared to give insight into technical details.
It’s common to try to explain everything you are passionate about, but at board meetings, get to the
point and focus on business benefits. It’s crucial to link D&A to the high level organizational strategy as
defined by the board.

Show you’ve done your homework by including additional detail as part of an appendix
For example, a D&A leader could say the following about a strategic growth target: “We have an
aggressive growth target of 20%. At least 60% of that growth opportunity is in upselling or cross-selling
within our existing customer base. This means we need to have a better understanding of who our
customers are and what they need. This is the core of the 360 degree customer data and analytics
program.”

However, at the same time, show you’ve done your homework by including additional detail as part of an
appendix. Not every executive will go through it, but providing the information shows preparedness and
respect for the audience.

Be fact-based and brief, but tell a story.


Make sure that when you cut down your presentation to make it succinct, you don’t lose the engaging
part. Storytelling is an important part of catching the interest of the board. One way is to divide the story
into four sections. Here’s an example explaining the need for master data management (MDM).

Step 1 — Descriptive: “17% of our invoices contain errors, leading to average delays of a week paying
these invoices.”
Step 2 — Diagnostic: “The cause is not having a single way to identify a customer. We have different
standards in 12 different billing systems.”
Step 3 — Predictive: “Every quarter we continue to do this; it costs $100,000 in working capital and
short-term credit.”
Step 4 — Prescriptive: “We should implement a technology called MDM that helps us fix this and manage
it moving forward.”
Be clear about what you want, but also provide multiple scenarios of how to get there.
Issues that reach the board level are often complex and do not have simple yes or no answers. Providing
multiple scenarios of how a D&A initiative can work will provide a platform for discussion and help secure
executive buy-in.

Explain which scenario you prefer and why, but leave room for discussion
It’s crucial to be very clear about what you hope to achieve with the board meeting, and if possible, to
discuss this objective in advance with the board member who is sponsoring your meeting. Then present
different scenarios about how to reach your objective. Explain which scenario you prefer and why, but
leave room for discussion because board members may prefer other options for reasons you are not
aware of.
Be specific about what D&A means to your organization, while at the same time presenting an outside-
in perspective.
It’s great to refer to larger trends in the market and your industry and show examples of what other
organizations are doing. It can provide clarity, inspiration and even a sense of urgency within the board.
It’s important, however, to ensure external examples are always translated to be relevant to your own
organization.

Identify the personal ambitions and passions of specific board members


This should extend beyond translating outside examples into the context of the official organizational
strategy. Identify the personal ambitions and passions of specific board members, and show how D&A
initiatives can help realize them.

Help the board to build trust in analytics and break the cycle of mistrust in D&A
You need to have trust on D&A because if you don’t trust your data and analytics then the board wont.
So help the board to gain trust on D&A. Break the cycle of mistrust. For that you need to strengthen the
anchors of trust. Strengthening the anchors of trust means identifying and closing the gaps in D&A and
managing it across the organization. It is not a one-time communication exercise or a compliance tick-
box. It is a continuous endeavor that should span the D&A lifecycle from data through to insights and
ultimately to generating value. Info-graphic recommendations on suggested processes, practices and
governance for building trust in D&A using KPMG’s four anchors of trust have been given below:
Point out timely, unique challenges of D&A
Here are a few hot D&A topics likely to capture the board’s attention.

 The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The deadline of May 25, 2018 looms large
with potentially very severe penalties for non-compliance. Moreover, GDPR privacy requirements
and the data management momentum they have created are an opportunity to drive business
value. Read more: How GDPR is an Opportunity to Create Business Value.
 Ethics: The board acts as the moral compass of an organization. Digital transformation raises the
question of digital ethics, and in today’s world an organization’s ethical reputation is tightly
related to the bottom line. They should be involved in how data is collected and used, and they
should be leveraging the output to enhance the organization’s mission.
 Infonomics: Modern businesses understand the importance of treating information as an asset.
Introduce infonomics as an emerging discipline that can drive competitive advantage, open new
markets and deliver new revenue.

Strategies to elevate enterprise value


As the role of the chief data officer (CDO) takes hold — gaining authority and influence on par with other
executives — organizations will move away from merely using data as a resource and analytics as
reporting and decision-making support tools. Data and analytics will become the centerpiece of
enterprise strategy, focus and investment.

Few recommendations aimed at building and elevating data and analytics competency within the
organization would be :

 Collect and socialize examples of the internal and external economic benefits from data and
analytics that your organization (or other similar organizations or industries) has generated.
 Offer or insist on being involved in corporate strategic planning to ensure that data and analytics
competencies are incorporated, if not already featured, within these plans. Communicate this
information internally and publicly in annual reports, investor conferences, etc.
 Measure and communicate the value of the organization’s information assets to help shift the
culture into believing and behaving as if information is an actual asset.
 Build, buy and borrow advanced analytics competencies (such as data science or machine
learning) beyond traditional business intelligence and embed them throughout the business.

References

https://blogs.gartner.com/andrew_white/2019/03/22/going-world-data-analytics/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/treating-information-as-an-asset/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/cdos-must-take-the-lead-to-improve-data-literacy/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-4-data-and-analytics-trends-for-midsize-enterprises/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/how-to-convince-the-board-to-invest-in-data-and-analytics/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/why-data-and-analytics-are-key-to-digital-transformation/
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/analyst-answers-how-it-leaders-should-invest-in-data-and-
analytics/
https://home.kpmg/au/en/home/insights/2016/10/building-trust-in-analytics.html