Strategy is Key to ABISSA Success

Posted by Ben Strauss

In previous articles, I have defined what ABISSA is and the central role that value plays for ABISSA success. In future articles, I will hit on many other components of ABISSA, but for this article I want to discuss ABISSA strategy. To truly have success with ABISSA you must have a plan.

What is ABISSA strategy?

An ABISSA strategy is not a one-size-fit-all approach but rather can be your organization’s entire Analytics Strategy or it just one part. An ABISSA program focuses on the enablement of your existing people without the need to hire or make large investments in infrastructure and tooling. An ABISSA program is a great place to start for organizations that are launching or rebooting their analytics journeys. And for organizations farther along, it provides a way of democratizing data across the organization. Analytics strategies for larger or more analytically mature organizations might include AI, data pipeline development (DataOps), or more advanced analytics platforms intended for specialized use cases. Typically, these more areas are not included in an ABISSA strategy.

Priorities of an ABISSA strategy

There are five priorities on which to base an effective ABISSA strategy that can be adapted and customized across corporate cultures and sizes of organizations:

1. Create value above all else

2. Nurture an analytic culture

3. Develop talent either by upskilling or recruiting the right people for the right job

4. Drive innovation from basic to more advanced analytic capabilities

5. Encourage collaboration around data and analytics within and across organizational boundaries

Establishing an ABISSA Strategy

To establish an ABISSA strategy, there are three important components:

When interconnected, a business plan, a roadmap, and program governance will allow for successful realization of value from analytics.

Business plans set the foundation

The main purpose of the Business Plan is to align the analytics strategy to the company’s overall objectives and to define the overall goals for the program. The plan should also outline details like the supporting org structure with roles and responsibilities defined, a funding model, budgets, and path to value.

Roadmaps chart your course

ABISSA strategy forms around the fundamental idea that “we can’t do everything at once”. Everything has a tradeoff. During an ABISSA strategic assessment, we collect and assemble the universe of use cases and data automation initiatives. Knowing the business objectives, we prioritize analytic use cases that will have the greatest impact or return the most value. We then prioritize along the strategic roadmap based on the value each use case is expected to bring, among other factors. Once the use case roadmap is defined, we can determine the roadmap for acquiring or developing analytic capabilities in software, infrastructure, and people and teams.

Program governance drives alignment

The final component of establishing an ABISSA strategy is defining the governance which will provide internal oversight to steer the program towards success. Having the program governance defined will ensure we are investing in the right places and getting ROI from the program.
At the executive level, the program governance model helps define the roles and responsibilities of the executives and their teams. At the operational level, it helps identify required competencies across the organization to inform hiring and training decisions.

Best Practices for establishing your strategy

An ABISSA Strategy ideally encompasses the entire organization, not just a single business unit or department. This approach allows for economies of scale, elimination of redundancies, and the potential to centralize analytic practices across the organization.

For all types of organizations, an analytics strategy needs to be emergent and living. The strategy will need to adapt to changes in the industry, new business priorities, market conditions, continuous improvement and the introduction of new tools and techniques.

ABISSA is about more than just having a strategy on paper. The strategy needs to be accepted and bought into by all stakeholders to make sure the entire organization is aligned. Early, ubiquitous alignment is crucial to avoiding political clashes and counterproductive initiatives within organizational silos.

One size doesn’t fit all

Across different teams and organizations, ABISSA strategies can provide value to both small and large companies. As it should, the strategy we will develop for a large Fortune 500 company will differ from the strategy we suggest for a smaller organization. Large companies may deploy ABISSA to tens of thousands of users utilizing dozens of complex data sources with established BI & Analytics capabilities. Smaller organizations that are just starting their analytics journey with only a handful of users will need a much different strategic approach. They often will need to be more pragmatic about how to deploy ABISSA and may use limited budgets to generate the maximum value through more direct integration with the business plan.

Aimpoint Digital helps companies of all sizes at various points during their analytics journey develop and implement ABISSA strategy – and we’d love to help you get started down your journey for Analytics for Everyone!

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