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Here’s a thought-provoking in Forbes on what analysts need from IT. It’s too accusatory toward IT but reflects a very serious problem in business.
So how do analysts relate to IT? There’s no separating IT problems from business problems. Almost everything an analyst does involves data. This data ought to be clean, fast, and accessible. Ideally, it should be coming from a data warehouse with strict governance and quality benchmarks.
Think of the data warehouse as the “stock exchange” of your company’s data, where you can “trade” data with the rest of the company.
Unfortunately, a lot of data is not listed on the stock exchange. It’s in what I’ll call a “shadow market” — that is, a homegrown data solution. This is usually in Excel, error-prone and inefficient.
To be fair, IT doesn’t often know about these black markets of data. But even if they do, they are often powerless to change things. End-users are in one silo; IT the other. Savvy analysts may want to change the way data is stored but lack the IT chops.
How can we bridge these two inextricable work fields? One solution is for analysts to become more data-savvy. They need to know the basics of data warehousing. But comparative advantage still exists, and at some point the IT professionals need to get involved. It benefits no one to have financial analysts spending 90% of their time preparing data.
How do we provide business solutions arm-in-arm with IT solutions? I envision small, cross-trained teams with complemented skills. This exists in many companies and should move to more.
Regardless of the org chart, it is critical to think of your data as an asset — it is! — and “take it public” accordingly.
Photo courtesy user Skeeze on Pixabay.