Research Library Article


Analytics in the Boardroom

David Earle


Analytics in the Boardroom focuses on corporate boards’ increasing need for, and reliance on, data-supported answers to tough business questions. Nearly 6 out of 10 organizations now differentiate themselves through such efforts. Organizations that are taking a wait-and-see approach to analytics are falling behind their more determined peers. Leading organizations are now executing carefully targeted analytics efforts designed for maximum strategic advantage.

  • The trend is clearly toward analytics. From 2010 to 2011, the number of organizations using analytics to create competitive advantage rose 57%
  • Organizations using sophisticated analytics are more than twice as likely to substantially outperform their peers
  • The critical first steps in data analytics best practice are agreeing on data definitions and standards, persuading data owners to share the data they control, and to trust the data they don’t. Sophisticated organizations are 5 times more likely to have taken these steps
  • Sophisticated organizations share data vertically down to front line employees 4 times more frequently than unsophisticated ones
  • The ultimate goal of fact-based organizations is their openness to new ideas and to the new ways of doing things they suggest. Sophisticated organizations are almost twice as likely to have reached that goal.
What kinds of analytics are involved? The more advanced an organization is, the more kinds of data have meaning—about competitors, supply chains, regulatory burdens, customers, technology, natural disasters, market trends, talent sources, labor markets, workforce capabilities, succession and development strategies — in short, data about any system, process, event, activity or risk that might significantly affect business performance.
Growth and risk management are two major preoccupations of most boards. To execute those plans they turn to HR for efficient, effective talent acquisition and talent management. HR in turn contacts its customers in the marketplace through it’s own equivalent of marketing (advertising and sourcing) and sales (recruiting).
But this work is conducted differently from similar work in other departments. Non-HR marketing and sales are highly analytical activities. Customer needs, marketplace dynamics, production variables, competitors’ products, and market segments are routinely and rigorously analyzed. New product offerings (i.e. jobs) are meticulously planned and orchestrated. Marketing and advertising initiatives are carefully calibrated through testing and retesting. Bottom-line results (satisfied customers) are carefully monitored.
Very few corporate staffing departments approach their marketplace with this level of rigor. As long as seats are filled on time and on budget, their job is considered done. Yet talent issues are affected by the complex interactions of competition, the economy, the corporate brand, recruiting channel efficiency, comp and benefits packages, candidate relationship management, assessments, interviewer skills and post-hire followup.
Senior executives and boards of directors clearly want their businesses to run on data-driven decisions. And they want scenarios and simulations that provide immediate guidance on the best actions to take when disruptions occur.  IBM’s report provides both a best practices guide and a call to action.
Table of Contents
  • Creating competitive advantage
  • Targeting maximum growth
  • Reducing exposure to risk
  • Breaking through regulatory uncertainty
Author IBM Institute for Business Value Date published 2011 Industries various
Company size various Pages 16      Geography unknown
Sample size unknown Cost Free URL link