Building Data Analytics Capacity in Your Organization: Centralize or Decentralize?
An agency must consider whether to centralize analytical capabilities or decentralize its data analytics function. Centralization tends to improve the knowledge and capabilities of the analytics team working in this “center of excellence.” While this typically results in high technical capabilities and a lower cost, the analytics process often moves slower going through a centralized structure compared to a decentralized one. A decentralized analytics structure distributes analytic expertise across the agency. Under this decentralized model, each unit within an agency will have an analytics team – or at least people with analytics expertise. This approach is generally more responsive to business needs but can be more expensive.
In the last two to three years, there’s been a trend towards a hybrid approach: a centralized team with specialty skills that performs analytics and is responsible for building the analytics capabilities across the organization. Agencies that adopt this model can adapt more quickly to rapid technological change and meet the steadily increasing demand for analytical capabilities.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams take a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments where missions evolve and new priorities arise sometimes even daily. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.
As threats evolve and technology reinvents how we perform work, the Government must continue to find solutions to increasingly complex and multifaceted problems. Thanks to the expanded availability and relevance of data, agencies are now equipped with more resources to make accurate fact-based decisions surrounding these complex issues. As agencies make increasing use of this data, they need to determine whether to implement a centralized or decentralized analytical structure.
Agencies can use data to understand their own internal operations to design structures and management models that provide key insights. These insights can help answer questions such as how many people need to perform each function of business, who connects with what customers, how often, and for what purpose. Data of this nature guides how the Government can perform work rather than fact-based notions such as “span of control,” or the number of subordinates and activities controlled directly by a supervisor.
The use of data is also causing Government agencies to re-think the design of their organizations to include a dedicated analytics team with the goal of empowering complex data-based problem solving.