Using data from corporate performance management isn’t enough anymore

According to an article published in Harvard Business Review, and my own experiences in organisations such as Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Wellcome Trust, data has quickly become an established fact for many organisations, especially those in the life sciences industry, where data usage is rapidly expanding. My findings over the last few years are as follows:

  • 63% of companies now implement data analytics as part of their own organisation, up from just 5% in 2012.
  • 63% of companies reported that they expect to invest over $10m by 2017, 27% of which will invest $50m.
  • 54% of firms have implemented recruitment drives to look for or have already hired a Chief Data Officer.
  • 70% of firms report that data is of critical importance to their firm.

Develop the right metrics

There is no point in implementing corporate performance management if you haven’t developed the right metrics. Responsibility for corporate performance management should lie with the Chief Data Officer, with metrics tightly aligned with the goals, responsibilities and accountabilities of the Chief Financial Officer. Quite often I find that, due to immature and inefficient business processes, initial investments of time and effort have sometimes been larger than anticipated. These costs can be expected to level off as experience and efficiencies are brought to life.

Identify opportunities for innovation 

Most investments have involved operational cost savings or allowing the analysis of larger and more diverse sets of data. For example, in the financial services industry, many firms have been able to process several years worth of customer transactions in the same amount of time it took to process a single year, resulting in much greater credit precision and lower credit fraud. Yet, these largely remain back office processes, they do not change the customer experience or disrupt ways of doing business. Some companies have created centres of excellence, but again, this is not bold, nor is it innovative.

Prepare for a culture change and new ways of doing business 

Many companies have invested in infrastructure such as corporate performance Mangement to match the speed and cost benefited by big data. However, these systems on their own do not deliver value. A new era of professionals are entering the market place, and they are able to displace whole data ecosystems. They have grown up to use statistical techniques such as Hadoop and R, and as they enter the workplace in greater numbers, traditional approaches to data analytics using corporate performance management software will give way to these new techniques.