The Talent-first Approach to Analytics

There is a dizzying amount of sophisticated analytical technology available today, but arguably a dearth of talent to exploit that technology. Moreover, companies are seeing substantial growth in the number of non-technical users clamoring for better data-driven capabilities. This report investigates how companies are hiring and training analytical talent in order to up their analytical game and perform better as an organization. Once upon a time, the concept of business intelligence (BI) was very much a static concept. Taken literally, intelligence about the business implied a standalone report or dashboard, created by one person and consumed by another. Nowadays, as the technology has evolved and the user has become more technically inclined, the lines between consumer and creator are increasingly blurred. Technically sophisticated users are drawn to more high-powered analytical tools, but the average line-of-business decision-maker without a degree in statistical analysis or a strong familiarity with database architecture is increasingly curious about their business. Aberdeen’s research demonstrates that top-performing companies are looking to bring in hired analytical guns, but just as importantly, have a focus on developing data-driven talent in-house. Companies that have this talent-first approach to analytics (see sidebar for definition) are also more inclined to put in place a variety of internal capabilities to help support their analytical efforts.

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