Keeping House with an Analytics Center of Excellence

Author:  Nick Petrow              

When I was younger my parents went to Paris for their 20th anniversary and left my two sisters and I at home alone for the first time. My Mother had two rules: we must keep the house clean – and we absolutely must not kill each other – both of which proved equally difficult.  However, I distinctly recall thinking to myself: Keeping the house clean is going to be so easy without Mom making me do unnecessary work. Spoiler Alert: I was very wrong.


It should not have been that much work.  Between the three of us we did 90% of the cleaning when my Mother was home anyways.  But without her, everything seemed to take twice as long. Why was it such a difficult task without our Mother?  Without her, we were unable to see the big picture. We did not clean up messes as they occurred and they became bigger messes.   We did not communicate with each other and ended up duplicating tasks (we each vacuumed the floor once not knowing that it had already been done). Finally, we failed to set standards for what constituted as“clean.”

My Mother effectively kept the team working together.  She put procedures in place, ensured communication, and set the standard and strategy for cleanliness. These seemingly simple structures ultimately enabled us to keep the house clean in the most efficient manner. The same thought applies to business.  If something as simple as keeping a house clean is so fragile and dependent on teamwork and communication, what are businesses to do with large teams and complex priorities such as adopting business analytics capabilities?  How do businesses guarantee that their strategic priorities are being driven forward?

Answer:  The Analytics Center of Excellence.

Too many companies read about the miraculous solutions of analytics and attempt to invest heavily in tools and technology. , However, without the strategy and team in place it often results in low value and an inability to yield true insight.  When it comes to Business Analytics, organizations need to have a guiding force in place to set the priorities and get the teams collaborating to achieve the results they are looking for.  They need a way to implement all the necessary parts of an analytics strategy while taking into account the big picture.  Enter The Analytics Center of Excellence.

What is an Analytics Center of Excellence?   It depends on the company, its goals and its culture.   It may be a team of business and IT specialists working together or a virtual network of Domain Experts from each line of business headed by a Chief Analytics Officer.  However you exactly decide to set up your Analytics Center of Excellence is dependent on a number of factors; but there are some things all successful ones have in a common.   A successful Analytics Center of Excellence has the right resources, role definitions, skills, and expertise to establish processes, facilitate proper communication, and develop and maintain a set of standards.  A successful Center of Excellence will ensure that your company’s analytics program is aligning business goals with meaningful insight, so you are getting the right information you need to make better business decisions.

A company without a Center of Excellence is no different than my family working in silos to keep the house clean without the driving force of our Mother keeping us communicating and on-target. So, before you try to open the door to the exciting new world of analytics, first take a step back and think about how you set up your strategy and people with the Analytics Center of Excellence. Otherwise you may find yourself spending countless unnecessary hours putting everything back where it belongs before Mom gets home.

Our team at AlignAlytics has helped to author books on putting together a successful Business Analytics Program and setting up your strategy and Center of Excellence.    You can download the executive overview of “5 Keys to Business Analytics Program Success” here , get started today on your analytics strategy with our Roadmap Services or reach out directly to @tracyleeharris @alignalytics or to learn more.



1 Response to “Keeping House with an Analytics Center of Excellence”

  1. 1 Weblink November 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this article to him.

    Pretty sure he’ll have a great read. Thanks for sharing!

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