InsightaaS: McKinsey & Co. is a world-leading management consulting firm. Its flagship publication, McKinsey Quarterly, has been providing insight into key management issues for 50 years. In this article, experts from New York, Dallas and Toronto provide an insight into the Big Data analytics questions that executives are (and should be) focusing on, and how they are approaching key issues. In some cases, the guidance reflects the marriage of new techniques and enduring business imperatives; one executive quoted in the article observes that “Consumers will trust companies that are true to their value proposition…If we stray, we’re in problem territory.” In other cases, the article articulates choices (for example, between relying on automation or training to spur analytics adoption) without being prescriptive (for the record, InsightaaS is a strong proponent of the “automation” approach). Throughout, the authors provide insightful perspectives on important success factors – such as the need for “translators” who can “drive the design and execution of the overall data-analytics strategy while linking IT, analytics, and business-unit teams.” Overall, this piece provides an excellent management-level perspective on the requirements associated with Big Data analytics, and the tactics that are used to successfully navigate current challenges.
This past October, eight executives from companies that are leaders in data analytics got together to share perspectives on their biggest challenges. All were the most senior executives with data-analytics responsibility in their companies, which included AIG, American Express, Samsung Mobile, Siemens Healthcare, TD Bank, and Wal-Mart Stores. Their backgrounds varied, with chief information officers, a chief data officer, a chief marketing officer, a chief risk officer, and a chief science officer all represented.1 We had seeded the discussion by asking each of them in advance about the burning issues they were facing.
For these executives, the top five questions were:
- Are data and analytics overhyped?
- Do privacy issues threaten progress?
- Is talent acquisition slowing strategy?
- What organizational models work best?
- What’s the best way to assure adoption?
Here is a synthesis of the discussion…