Four Myths about IT and Analytics

An IDC research study commissioned by SAS, and summarized in a blog post by Dan Vesset, revealed four myths and realities about the role of an organization’s information technology (IT) group in relation to big data and analytics:

1 IT believes that it controls all things data within the enterprise, including analytics activities. Analytics activities are finding a home within the enterprise, but it is not in IT.
2 Technology is believed to be the biggest challenge to successful analytics projects. The biggest challenge to successful analytics projects is the organizational mindset and culture.
3 The value of big data and analytics is believed to be understood by all. Business units have significant trouble articulating the value of big data and analytics.
4 IT believes that deriving business value from big data and analytics is impossible without the IT group. Others in the organization view the IT group as part of the problem, not as a part of the solution.

The study was based on four roundtable sessions of IT, business unit, and analytics leaders from North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific region, as well as a survey of over 500 IT, business unit, and analytics managers and executives. Its findings are described in a white paper as well as a series of on-demand webinars from SAS (registration is required).

The study also provided recommendations for how IT groups can directly address the four myths noted above:

  1. Recognize the desire and need of business units and analytics groups to use their own tools and applications, while focusing on the information management aspects (data integration, data quality, and data security) of the analytics lifecycle.
  2. Actively encourage an analytics-centered organization with a data-oriented culture by becoming a clearinghouse for sharing and disseminating best practices about big data, analytics, and related technologies.
  3. Help the organization tell better success stories that highlight the business value of big data and analytics projects by measuring their outcomes and publicizing the involvement of the IT group and others across the organization.
  4. Take an active role in helping the organization develop an enterprise-wide analytics strategy, but then step aside and take on a much more consultative role in the execution of big data and analytics projects.

As Vesset concluded, “the global marketplace is in the early stages of a long-term path toward greater reliance on data—from customer interactions, sensors, mobile devices, and many other sources—and analytics to derive value from the data.” IT groups should see this as an opportunity to put together a strategy that allows them to be a crucial partner of the business units and analytics groups across the enterprise in realizing the business benefits of big data and analytics.

This post is brought to you by SAS.