In a recent report, Aberdeen looks at how more companies these days are leaning on power users to unite business knowledge with technical expertise in order to facilitate analytical efficiency.
BI Power Users: The Cream of the Analytical Crop
A foot in Both Worlds
The term “power user” has been thrown around over the past few years, but without context, it’s largely meaningless.
The research explored characteristics of power user organisations such as their inherent data-driven nature and their propensity to create insight instead of just consuming it, leading to the definition of the analytical detective persona.
Aberdeen’s research shows that today’s power user is someone who effectively blends technical expertise in IT and data management with line-of-business acumen and experience.
Power users are capable from a technical perspective, but lack the deep domain expertise when it comes to the infrastructure and the ability to integrate analytical solutions into the IT fabric.
The Analytical Top Gun
Power users sit at a very critical connection point between IT and the line of business.
Aberdeen’s research shows that today’s companies need the ability to bring new sources of information into their analysis quickly and effectively.
The weighted average performance depicted above paints a clear picture of how top-notch power users can impact the efficiency of a company. These companies bring new data sources online ten-times faster. From data to insight to execution, Leaders are facilitating tangible and repeatable business performance.
The Wheat from the Chaff
Power user organizations are certainly more likely to share data cross-functionally to improve the depth and richness of insight, but in a controlled and governed environment.
Leading power users work closely with the IT department to help define, enforce and abide by a solid foundation of data governance and oversight. They also help share and distribute information effectively to the business functions that need it.
Leaders are using technology to become more forward-looking and proactive. Supported by top performing power users, these organizations are more than twice as likely to utilize predictive analytics technology.
The power user contingent can vary greatly depending on company size, industry, or technical sophistication.
The following key takeaways summarize what the research tells us about power users:
- A good power user is a player/coach. A top-notch analytical environment will include experienced line-of-business users and technical professionals to support them.
- Data maturity and oversight are critical. Leading power users are not only involved in the creation of governance policies and procedures, but actively engaged in the usage and enforcement of these policies as well.
- The responsibilities are two-pronged, so is the impact. The performance impact can be felt on both sides of the house. On the support side, companies with quality power users are able to integrate data sources more efficiently and deliver enhanced user satisfaction with data quality and accessibility. On the business side, leading power users were able to drive tangible and repeatable improvements in key financial line-items metrics like revenue and profitability as well.
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