CIONET Trailblazer: Stakeholder Engagement in Analytics Transformation

Published by Charlotte Coen
June 28, 2023 @ 10:14 AM

In today's dynamic business landscape, the ability to adapt and harness the power of analytics is crucial for organisations aiming to thrive amidst change. However, successful implementation hinges on the ability to engage stakeholders effectively. In this episode of our CIONET Trailblazer series, Gregory Verlinden, Associate VP of Analytics & AI at Cognizant, shares practical strategies and initiatives organisations can employ to engage stakeholders during this shift. 

What strategies or initiatives do you recommend for organisations to effectively engage stakeholders during the shift towards a new way of working centred on analytics and informed decision-making?

  1. Communication and Transparency: To engage stakeholders effectively, organisations should clearly communicate the goals, benefits, and progress of the shift towards analytics and informed decision-making. Regular updates, success stories, and addressing concerns openly foster transparency, build trust, and ensure everyone understands the importance of the change.
  2. Stakeholder Involvement: Involving stakeholders from different levels and departments is vital. Organisations should seek their input, listen to their concerns, and incorporate their ideas into the implementation of analytics and informed decision-making. This involvement creates a sense of ownership, aligns solutions with organisational objectives, and caters to individual needs.
  3. Data/Analytics Literacy: Comprehensive education and training programmes should be provided to equip stakeholders with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and utilise analytics effectively. Tailored training sessions, workshops, and resources for different stakeholder groups empower them to make informed decisions based on data and boost confidence in the new way of working.Untitled design (5)-Jun-26-2023-08-13-06-8430-AM
  4. Demonstrating Value: Showcasing the value and benefits that analytics and informed decision-making bring to the organisation and its stakeholders is essential. Concrete examples, case studies, and metrics should be used to demonstrate how data-driven approaches improve efficiency, productivity, and outcomes. This fosters buy-in and enthusiasm for the new way of working.
  5. Change Management: Implementing a robust change management framework helps address potential resistance and challenges during the transition. Developing a clear roadmap, anticipating obstacles, and providing support to stakeholders is critical. Regularly assessing the impact of the change and making adjustments as needed ensure a smooth transition.
  6. Continuous Improvement and Feedback: Establishing mechanisms to gather feedback from stakeholders on the effectiveness of analytics and informed decision-making is crucial. Encouraging stakeholders to provide insights, suggestions, and lessons learned allows organisations to refine processes, address concerns, and continuously improve the approach.
  7. Recognition and Rewards: Recognising and rewarding stakeholders who embrace analytics and informed decision-making, contribute to the shift, and achieve positive outcomes, is important. Public recognition, incentives, and career development opportunities can be utilised to celebrate successes. This reinforces the value of the change and encourages wider adoption.

What are the key factors that differentiate organisations that have successfully embraced analytics and re-engineered their decision-making processes from those that struggle with adoption and transformation?

  1. Leadership Support: Successful organisations have strong leadership support for analytics initiatives. Executives and managers champion the use of analytics, allocate resources, and actively participate in the transformation process. They set a clear vision, communicate the benefits of analytics-driven decision-making, and lead by example.
  2. Data-Driven Culture: Organisations that succeed in analytics adoption foster a data-driven culture throughout the entire organisation. They promote a mindset that values evidence-based decision-making and encourage employees to use data in their day-to-day work. This culture shift involves training, education, and creating incentives that reward data-driven behaviours.
  3. Talent and Skills: Successful organisations invest in building a skilled workforce with expertise in data analytics. They recruit, train, and retain talent capable of extracting insights from data, applying advanced analytics techniques, and effectively communicating results to stakeholders. They also encourage cross-functional collaboration between business and analytics teams.
  4. Technology Infrastructure: Organisations that thrive in analytics adoption establish a robust technology infrastructure to support data management, analytics, and decision-making processes. They invest in tools and platforms that enable data integration, analysis, and visualisation. They also ensure the availability of secure, reliable, and scalable infrastructure to handle large volumes of data.
  5. Change Management and Training: Successful organisations recognise the importance of change management and provide comprehensive training programmes to facilitate the adoption of analytics. They help employees understand the benefits of analytics, address fears and resistance, and provide ongoing support to ensure successful adoption and transformation.
  6. Alignment of Analytics with Business Goals: Organisations that excel in analytics adoption align analytics initiatives with strategic business goals. They identify key areas where analytics can provide the most value and focus their efforts accordingly. This alignment ensures that analytics projects have a clear purpose and deliver actionable insights that drive business outcomes.
  7. Agile and Iterative Approach: Successful organisations take an agile and iterative approach to analytics adoption. They start with small, manageable projects, learn from each iteration, and make continuous improvements. This approach allows them to build momentum, demonstrate early wins, and adapt their strategies based on feedback and evolving business needs.
  8. Measuring and Communicating Success: Organisations that succeed in analytics adoption define key metrics and regularly measure the impact of analytics initiatives. They communicate success stories, quantify the value generated from analytics, and share insights with stakeholders across the organisation. This helps sustain momentum, secure ongoing support, and build confidence in the analytics transformation.

By implementing the recommended strategies and considering the key factors that differentiate successful organisations, businesses can effectively engage stakeholders and navigate the shift towards a new way of working centred on analytics and informed decision-making. Stakeholder involvement, clear communication, talent development, and a data-driven culture are crucial for driving successful adoption and achieving transformative outcomes. These insights were derived from a joint study conducted by Cognizant and CIONET on the maturity of Analytics Adoption in Belgium this year. If you're interested in gaining further knowledge about the Belgian CIO & CDO landscape, download the report here.


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