Looking for data-driven insights? It’s time to change direction

  • Posted on June 20, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
data driven insights

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Kyle Hale.

As demand for faster and better business intelligence increases, how does your enterprise deliver? There’s a lot of talk about disparate data being the culprit that prevents many organizations from gaining intelligence and achieving transformation. While it’s true that data consolidation is essential, there is more to consider. In fact, three elements – people, process and technology – need to be addressed concurrently. And if one fails, everything fails.

Why does it seem like IT is always the bottleneck?


The traditional approach to data and analytics is unbalanced. Everything starts with IT – they ingest, structure and model data – then provide it to business users for analysis. But if the data and answers aren’t what users expect, everything goes back to IT. And IT goes back to the drawing board.

Technology isn’t typically the trouble-maker. The most significant problems with this top-down model relate to people and processes:

  • Only IT staff has access to the data and tools, which creates bottlenecks and a high-pressure work environment.
  • Business users resort to ad-hoc report generation (“Excel excess”) to address their changing requirements. This leads to a fragmented culture of knowledge siloes, unsustainable practices, and loss of agility and control.

Additionally, most organizations don’t invest in personal and team business intelligence (BI) solutions, instead focusing on high-level enterprise reporting – and that makes it challenging to use data to drive innovation.

Where’s the value in a bottom-up approach?


So how do you give business users self-service BI capabilities, provide flexibility to your IT department with right-sized architecture, and maintain governance across your entire business? When you invert the pyramid:

  • Everyone – not just IT – is aligned and equipped with the data and technology tools to achieve results quickly and efficiently.
  • A clearly-defined process ensures data governance, standardization and consistency as solutions move up the organization into an IT-managed model.
  • The ability to store all types of data indefinitely increases its impact, enabling both historical and predictive analytics.

Elements of a modern self-service analytics model
A modern self-service analytics model that’s built using a “bottom-up” approach can successfully foster a data-driven culture and eliminate the risks inherent with shadow BI. Core components include:


Enterprise transformation is within reach
By tapping into the combined power of people, process and technology, you can create entirely new capabilities and foster a data-driven and collaborative organizational culture. All it takes is turning your data and analytics model on its head.

Let’s talk about how your organization can change direction to capitalize on the latest delivery trends and achieve greater value. Feel free to contact me for more information about Avanade’s Digital Advisory practice.

Avanade Insights Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news.

Share this page
Modal window