Keys to analytics greatness…and four ways ACL can help you bridge the analytics skills gap

Published | Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Are top athletes born or made? The same could be asked of analytics wizards. To be great at any activity requires three aspects:

  • natural talent (innate ability, what you are born with)
  • ability to learn and grasp new concepts
  • regular practice (to develop and refine the skill).

In addition to these general keys to greatness, two other broad areas of competency can help increase success in the development of analytics know-how: cognitive skills and behavioral skills.

Cognitive skills

These include your analytical skills, professional judgment and technical skills. Having the right analytical skills helps with dissecting and understanding a data set, and the ability to grasp and understand the general workflow of how raw data is processed. Analytical skills also include logical reasoning: critical thinking, research and questioning are needed to break down and distill data, facts and findings, and to validate assumptions. The ability to apply professional judgment and a healthy dose of skepticism is also essential.

Behavioral skills

Your personality, interpersonal and organizational skills fall into this category. Being organized includes strategy, structure and processes. This trait comes in handy to help structure the data for the required purpose and the intended audience. Understanding processes and how things function will play an important role in how to show the data for consumption.

Bridging the analytics skills gap: 4 ways ACL can unlock your analytics greatness

If you have an identified skills gap, or don’t have the time or money to invest in training, some of the suggestions below may help you.

1: Learn new skills—and best practices—with our awesome training and online Academy

Ramp up your analytical and technical skills, and learn best practices to help develop your professional judgment with our various training options. We can come to you, you can learn in class, or you can do online training any time of the day or night through ACL Academy on your ACL Launchpad.

ACL Academy is included with every ACL subscription. Take a full course or sample a short learning episode. ACL Academy lets you learn anytime 24/7, at your own pace. (Why not schedule 15-30 minutes daily or weekly with yourself (or your team!) to help you “just do it” and take advantage of this great resource.) Pick a course from the menu and start now!>>

2: Hire a member of the ACL Customer Success team to tap into our 30+ years of analytics experience

Don’t know exactly what you want or what you need? Or, perhaps you know exactly what you want but are missing some analytics prowess. Or maybe you need to point your arsenal at specific targets to support a risk-based approach to dissecting and understanding your business. Whatever challenges you bring to the table, hiring a consultant like ACL with over 30 years of experience with Fortune 500 organizations can lead you to uncover additional insights and find those needles in the haystack.

Whether you’re an analytics newbie, need to jumpstart an existing program, or you have a clearly defined and ambitious scope of work, analytics consultants can provide a laser-focus on what matters. Specialists can help at all stages of technology adoption and maturity. Covert analytics operations can also be executed to focus on a dedicated business area or specific risks.

3: Purchase pre-packaged analytics

I like to think of this option as “analytics for dummies.” No technical expertise or scripting is required. ACL Essentials is plug-and-play; it’s as simple as that. Better yet, it connects to the most commonly deployed ERP systems in the world (e.g., Oracle, SAP—both ECC and S4 Hana, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Lawson). There are pre-built options for 13 analytics packages that cover different business processes and span a variety of use cases. If time is of the essence, or if time-to-value and/or high ROI are top evaluative criteria to make you look like a star, pre-packaged analytics is the way to go.

4: Operationalize your analytics program (and continuously optimize) with service-as-a-subscription

Like visiting the dentist to get your teeth scaled and cleaned as part of regular maintenance, your customized analytic scripts need to be maintained, reviewed and updated from time to time. Organizational and departmental needs often change, and the knowledge is gone once the employee walks out the door. Subscription services can be a blessing, as consultants and premium support are just a chat or email away. Unlike a one-time implementation service, these specialists are experts in your space and come to deeply understand the ins and outs of your business and analytics challenges—think of it as a fourth line of defense. Another added benefit is the ability to continuously add value as your business landscape evolves and shifts. You have access to the latest knowledge and best practices so you are always ahead of the curve. Learn more about our Analytics Success Plan here>>

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