The analytics divide: leadership vs. technical experts

May 22, 2012


A wrinkle in implementing analytics is that the majority of decision experts and proponents come from a technical, structured thinking background and often give short shrift to issues of leadership and organizational culture, or, at best, wave them away as a problem of upper management. In turn, upper management can often easily assume an ‘if we build it, they will come’ mentality: throwing money at the experts to spend on software licenses and a few headcount (if they are lucky many times I see the purchase of software and NO extra staff to run it). Such a disconnected scenario happens again and again: the results are a moribund, wishful thinking approach to analytical organizational decision making.

It is not enough to say we are going to hire a CDO (Chief Decision Officer) to push from the top-down, increase incentives, and hold a few ‘decision making process’ pep-rallies / all-day staff ‘process’ seminars. Change Management itself is a structured process, as per the work and writings of J. Kotter (‘The Heart of Change’

Indeed, there are increasingly sophisticated tools and techniques from the world of organizational research and social science which can serve to structure the process of ‘changing’ organizational culture. For example, Social Network Analysis (SNA) and Game Theory are methods which can help bridge the ‘understanding gap’ between, on the one hand, pure leadership, and on the other, hard decision process outlooks.

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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