4 Keys to Successful Analytics Change Management

Organizations that created Analytics Centers of Excellence (CoE) to mature their data and analytics capabilities still struggle to scale their efforts across the enterprise. They often face resistance due to mindsets wedded to the status quo, tools perceived as too complex, and analytics talent spread too thin. To overcome this, companies should consider using the CALM method to build change management capabilities into the Analytics CoEs and ensure greater adoption of analytics solutions.

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Video Transcription

Hi, my name is Rick Hinton with Valerius Consulting. And today we’re gonna talk about why it makes sense for you to add change management capabilities to your analytics center of excellence.

Now, CoEs were adopted by organizations to help accelerate the adoption of analytics capabilities across the enterprise. What’s happened too often is there is resistance that occurs, primarily in three forms.

Three Forms of Resistance to Change

One is mindsets that are wedded to the status quo. You get pushback, like “Your model is not any better than my spreadsheet.”

Second is tools are perceived to be too complicated. You might get pushback from a business unit or function and they say, “we don’t understand how to use this. I can’t get my people to use it. And I don’t have time to learn this. Too complicated.”

And then the final one is the talent mix between what is resident in the analytics CoE, which is analytics subject matter experts, and out in the business functions. Some of the pushback you see there is, “You know analytics but you don’t know my business” and that creates some resistance.

The combination of those three things is where you’re getting pushback and where you see resistance to the initiatives you’re pushing out.


Six Functions of the Analytics CoE

What’s needed is change management capabilities that allow people to plan for and adapt to change.

Let’s take a look at the primary functions of the analytics CoE and pull out a couple of examples that will make this more clear. Everything you do – from growing technical talent to building and deploying solutions – everything you engage in through your analytics CoE is imposing some sort of change on the organization. And the key thing you need to look at is, what is the impact? How do we start to understand the impact?


One way to think about this is whatever you’re working on, is it a pebble or rock or a boulder? In other words, what is the impact that it’s having?

A pebble could be where you’re just updating a sales forecast model that’s been in deployments for a year. that could be, you know, very small level of impact, small ripple.

Another could be a rock, that could be the example of you rolling out a completely new sales forecasting model that’s not been used before. That’s going to create a little bit more ripple inside the organization and particularly within that business unit.

And finally, you look at a boulder. That’s gonna be huge change, huge ripples throughout the organization. Example, let’s say you’re rolling out a new e-commerce platform and you’re gonna swap out dozens of custom applications. Big change there.


CoE Change Management: CALM

When you think about the change impact, there’s a couple of things you need to think about. One is that it’s not simply about adopting technology. That is important, but it’s all about behavioral change. ‘Cause what the impact you see most often is particularly with analytics, you’ll see impact on the way people work, the way people make decisions. It’s a pretty broad impact and that’s why it’s important to think about change management and adopt a change management system.

Let’s take a look at what that means. When we talk about change management one way to think about this is the acronym CALM. What this stands for is Communications, Alignment, Learning, and Measurement.

The first one Communications is critical. That’s the starting point. That’s where you establish the why, why are you doing this system, this program, this initiative, and this is the communications. Who the stakeholders are that are gonna be impacted by that? And it’s most often the thing that’s neglected. You need consistency, clarity. It needs to be concise and it has to be continuous in terms of communication. Think about that as like one to many.

Alignment is more one-to-one. This is where you’re working with stakeholders, understanding the impact, and getting lots of feedback. That’s more workshops, one-to-one counseling. You understand how well your communications are working and whether there is alignment around this initiative, that’s a critical piece.

Then we get to Learning. Learning is really about embedding that behavioral change in the organization and treating it as continuous improvement. And what we’re looking for there and what we like to focus on is both mindsets and skill sets. ‘Cause I talked earlier about the behavioral change around decision making. That’s where mindsets come into play. And then the skill are clear in terms of raising the skill level across the organization. But the learning, the other aspect to this learning is that it has to be self-directed. You can’t impose change on people. It has to be adopted. And the self-directed learning is a critical part of that.

And finally, there’s Measurements. Measurement’s gonna look at all the activities you’re doing within change management. Are you following through and doing those? Two is what is the impact of those changes? Are we seeing any behavioral change? And three is what are the business results we’re seeing as a result of that behavioral change? That’s a continuous cycle across the CALM methodology for change.

Final Takeaways

Three takeaways from this is:

  1. Start looking for and understanding the level of change that’s gonna be imposed based on what you’re working on.
  2. Consider, “Who’s gonna be impacted and How?”
  3. Putting in place a system for change that you can repeat over and over gives you a better chance of having the change stick over time.

Thanks for listening. And for more information, you can check out elderresearch.com/blog and we’ll be talking a little bit more about this topic in the future.