Journal Article

Why IT fumbles analytics

Harvard Business Review 91 (1): 104–111
Donald A. Marchand, Joe Peppard (2013)
Subject(s): Information technology and systems
Keyword(s): Communications technology, information systems, organizations, systems engineering

Argues that, despite their large investments in data scientists, and IT tools, many companies are struggling to capitalize on the massive amounts of data now available to them. Suggests that most managers are employing the conventional approach to designing and installing IT systems and this approach may not be appropriate for exploiting the tremendous amounts of data now available from internal and external sources. Notes that a big data or analytics project is likely to be smaller and shorter than a conventional IT initiative, such as installing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Identifies five guidelines for taking an alternative approach to IT systems development: place people who will create meaning from the information at the heart of the initiative; unlock value from IT by asking second-order questions and giving teams the freedom to reframe business problems; equip teams with cognitive and behavioural scientists, who understand how people perceive problems and analyse data.; focus on learning by facilitating information sharing, examining assumptions, and striving to understand cause and effect; and worry more about solving business problems than about deploying technology.

Volume 91
Issue 1
Pages 104–111