This blog is for an emerging executive role, the ‘analytic executive’. The Analytic Executive is responsible for the advanced analytics function of their company: highly trained quantitative analysts using mathematical techniques to support management and operational decision-making. Analytics has become a focused strategic activity for many companies across many industries. Experienced practitioners are generally highly educated in technical sciences. The executive level management of the analytics ‘shop’ is likely to not have a quantitative background yet is charged with executing a strategic initiative to nurture advanced analytics and help extract value from a very complex activity. The challenge for the Analytic Executive is to have an independent judgment and a vision for advanced analytics, have the respect of his or her peers as superbly knowledgeable in the subject, and to have enough of an understanding of the technical dynamics of the work to provide direction to the direct manager of the business unit.
At this point in the maturity of many organizations, an Analytic Executive is critical to helping highly skilled practitioners and managers live up to the expectations of this science, perform with effectiveness and quality, and prevent the unit from becoming a costly, slow moving research activity. Secondly, the demand in the organization for model-driven decision-making will likely exceed the capacity of the people to do the work. How to organize the resources across the enterprise is a central concern of the Analytic Executive.
In these posts, and with the comments of readers, we will raise management subjects that support the Analytic Executive with ‘analytics in real-life’: insights that cannot be gained without hard won experience of the community of existing or emerging executives.
In some industries and some functions, advanced analytics has been around a along time. Still, the science is becoming deeper and broader in terms of its use, impact and strategic importance. Every manager and executive should assess the Analytic Executive role with how the management of this science can be advanced where they are today.
Please note that this is intended for people working in the field as a data scientist or manager of data scientists or an analytics business unit. Also included are IT managers that support advanced analytics in their respective companies. Many individuals working for technology vendors and consultants have valuable experience and insights to share on this subject as well. However, the role of the analytic executive is on the ‘buyer’ side.