IBV study on analytics, part 11: Strategy, technology and organization

Global Banking Industry Marketing, Big Data, IBM

A business driven approach to analytics

This is part 11 of our series on the findings and text from the IBM Institute for Business Value’s latest study and paper “Analytics: A blueprint for value - Converting big data and analytics insights into results” from my colleagues Fred Balboni, Glenn Finch, Cathy Rodenbeck Reese and Rebecca Shockley. 

In Part 10, we completed our exploration of the nine levers of capabilities that enable and enhance analytics development, delivery and value creation. In this post we begin discussing where each lever fits in terms business application, and introduce recommendations in three areas: Strategy, Technology and Organization.


While it’s helpful to know how each lever influences value creation, it’s equally important to consider where each lever fits in terms of the day-to-day aspects of running a business. Most executives need to approach analytics with a business-driven blueprint, an approach that defines how and why the organizations will use technology through three lenses: strategy, technology and organization.

  • Strategy: The deliberateness with which an organization approaches analytics
  • Technology: The enabling capabilities and resources an organization has available to manage, process, analyze, interpret and store data
  • Organization: The actions taken to use data and analytics to create value.

This construct, popularized as organizations built business intelligence foundations and other enterprise applications, creates a blueprint that guides executives to consider both the strategic and tactical actions needed to act on data, as well as define the business and technical requirements for the use of analytics.

The levers of Sponsorship, Source of value and Funding represent those capabilities needed to define and enable a strategic approach to data and analytics. By emulating the behaviors of Leaders within these levers, executives can instill a sense of purpose to analytics that connects the strategic vision of the executive suite to the day-to-day actions needed to act on analytics.

The levers of Expertise, Data and Platform combine to create the technical capabilities and resources an organization has available to manage, process, analyze, interpret and store data.  By identifying the capabilities most needed to solve the organization’s unique requirements, executives can create a foundation for analytic discovery to solve today’s challenges, while also architecting it for the future.

The levers of Culture, Measurement and Trust coalesce to form an organization’s ability to act on data and analytics, which is the only way to realize a return on investment. Executives need to consider the cultural impact and changes required to operate as a fact-driven organization and be able to measure success when it occurs. But, as noted earlier, it takes more than memos and measurement to transform an organization: it takes trust. It takes trust in the data, but also trust in one another—trust that everyone is working toward the same goal and similar outcomes.

By reframing the levers into a familiar construct, our goal is to provide the trusted advice executives need to create a blueprint for insight within their organization and unlock the value of data and analytics through discovery and insight (see Figure 14).




In our next post, part 12, we will explore establishing a business-driven agenda for analytics, and discuss activities within each of the three Strategy levers: Sponsorship, Source of value and Funding.

Catch up on the entire series so far with parts one through ten: