Analytics and organizational cultural maturity

It is perhaps obvious to say that there are better and worse decision-making processes, tools, and organizational practices.  Each individually can be comprehensively approached; it is the management of their integration, the combination of elements to bring an analytics practice ‘to life’, which is complex.  In particular, beyond tools and processes, there is a growing need to understand ‘culture’ in terms of organizational decision making maturity.

At present, there is quite a focus on analytics / decision making formal techniques and tools. Two reasons perhaps are that 1) academic research and mathematical proofs related to formal techniques offer ‘falsifiable’ efficacy data, and 2) formal techniques can be codified in software and sold commercially (offering an incentive to focus on formal techniques and tools rather than the organizational processes).

The wealth of formal tools and techniques, however, results in a poverty regarding the consideration of ‘organizational culture’ as related to decision making: is there an ‘experimental’ outlook in the organization, is it acceptable to challenge management decisions based on data anlaytics, is there an openness to redefining existing procedures and policies if experimentation has show more efficient approaches, etc…

Here is an example article on analytics from MIT Sloan Management Review.

Although this touches on organizational ‘analytics culture’, this area could be expanded upon. If we view organizations as ‘sense making’ organisms, then perhaps there are ways to classify and structure organizations more effectively to improve decision-making quality. This should be a pre-requisite to purchasing software or adopting a technique, not an afterthought, which is more often the case. I have witnessed many organizational failures in decision making / analytics implementations because leaders took a “if we build it, they will come” approach, rather than starting with the culture and then implementing the tool / technique.

About SARK7

Scott Allen Mongeau (@SARK7), an INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), is a researcher, lecturer, and consulting Data Scientist. Scott has over 30 years of project-focused experience in data analytics across a range of industries, including IT, biotech, pharma, materials, insurance, law enforcement, financial services, and start-ups. Scott is a part-time lecturer and PhD (abd) researcher at Nyenrode Business University on the topic of data science. He holds a Global Executive MBA (OneMBA) and Masters in Financial Management from Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). He has a Certificate in Finance from University of California at Berkeley Extension, a MA in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Graduate Degree (GD) in Applied Information Systems Management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He holds a BPhil from Miami University of Ohio. Having lived and worked in a number of countries, Scott is a dual American and Dutch citizen. He may be contacted at: LinkedIn: Twitter: @sark7 Blog: Web: All posts are copyright © 2020 SARK7 All external materials utilized imply no ownership rights and are presented purely for educational purposes.

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