Technical skills and talent in demand

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: TECHNICAL SKILLS & TALENT IN DEMAND

In my last blog, I wrote about the necessary workforce competencies and the type of cultural mindset that is needed to make digital transformation a success in this new era. But what are the technical skills and areas of expertise that support digital transformation? Here are five areas where talent is in high demand right now:Talent in demand1. Strategy & TransformationIncreasingly organisations are looking to the future, modelling different crisis scenarios, investing in new technology and exploring new customer engagement models or partnerships. The question of who is thinking strategically, beyond the business proposition as it stands today and shaping how it may look in 3, 5- or 10-years’ time is paramount to an organisation’s survival and future growth. Many organisations are facing wholesale changes to their operating model which is a highly complex and often daunting piece of work. As such, there has been a proliferation of new roles in the areas of strategy, innovation and change management. ‘Directors of Strategy’, ‘Project or Programme Directors’ and ‘Change Managers’ have become common place across many different types and size of organisation. However, the unprecedented speed with which organisations have had to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its ensuing challenges, has triggered an acceleration of digital transformation projects and compounded the need for senior professionals who can facilitate transformative change, alongside the complexities of a remote working environment. 2. Cloud-based servicesUnsurprisingly, as we have transitioned to remote working, skills in cloud-based services such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure, have and will continue to be of critical importance. The shift to cloud based technology will no doubt remain prevalent even when we all get back to the office without restrictions. Professionals that have the skills to deploy cloud-based services as needed will be required to ensure continuous and reliable connectivity to these systems to ensure business continuity and productivity. 3. Cyber securityRemote working increases the risk of cyberattacks as hackers target people’s increased use of and dependence on digital tools, data sharing and communication. As such, organisations must enable secure remote working using a virtual private network (VPN) to create an encrypted connection from the user's computer to their company IT system. However, even businesses with a quality VPN may need to improve the server capacity and network security to enable their entire workforce to use it at once and work remotely, securely. This means that top cyber security talent, already in high demand, will remain indispensable for employers as agile working practices continue for the foreseeable future. 4. Data analytics As organisations race to adapt to different ways of working and evolve best practice across their systems, people and processes, Data Scientists and Analysts continue to be in high demand. Modelling the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and understanding evolving customer behaviour is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation right now. Data analysts who can provide the accurate analysis and interpretation of data, to the right people at the right time, will provide much needed foresight in these unprecedented times.  5. Automation & AITo help reduce administrative tasks and enhance process efficiencies, within and between different systems and departments, most organisations have invested in automation technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to some degree. The specific artificial intelligence or automation technology, its application and tools available (such as Robotics Process Automation, Chatbots or CRM) varies across industry and profession. Professionals who have demonstrable experience of either developing, implementing or integrating this technology within and between business functions and adapting it to the new virtual world of work, will be highly prized.  As well as investing in technology and talent, organisations must look at their people from top to bottom and involve individuals who can provide ideas, or champion and lead transformative change. Those that believe it will all be driven from the boardroom and do not engage a diverse group in tackling change may well struggle. Understanding individual challenges in remote project delivery requires diverse perspectives and agile leadership that utilises the capabilities of individuals from every corner of the business. In an increasingly geographically agnostic business world, leaders have to understand how they can embrace technology, help their people to bring about better customer experiences and deliver lasting change that enables them to remain relevant. After all, how can you compete if you don’t evolve your operating model in today’s rapidly changing world?Those that can win both the hearts and minds of their workforce will successfully deliver the most complex of technical change with the highest levels of engagement. It’s strange how even the most baffling of technical puzzles always falls back to people!   Download our insight paperFor more on this topic, download a full version of our insight paper 'Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?,' where we explore what constitutes the right mindset needed for change and share the technical skills and talent in demand right now. Download Share your insights If you need help finding talent with the necessary competencies to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are progressing your digital transformation projects in these challenging times.

My Stanton House Story: Eddie Hemsley

MY STANTON HOUSE STORY: EDDIE HEMSLEY

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCESTo celebrate Stanton House’s ten-year anniversary we have profiled the unique journeys of some of our employees. Every one of their personal successes is an accomplishment for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. The My Stanton House Story blog series looks at what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers.  FROM GRADUATE TO PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT WITHIN TWO YEARS Choosing the world of recruitment & Stanton HouseI joined Stanton House in 2018 as an Associate Consultant, straight after graduating from the University of Sheffield, with a bachelor's degree in Business Management. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in recruitment as I was keen to have the scope for personal development and opportunity to progress quickly. I interviewed with six recruitment companies over a three-day period and was lucky enough to have three offers. Stanton House was the clear choice for me. It may seem trivial, but as part of the interview process, they took me out socially to meet with some of the team, which made me feel incredibly welcomed and they were the only recruitment company to do this.  Learning my craft   I started with a focus on recruitment within Private Equity and this is where I learned recruitment best practice and the application of all my initial training. The training, learning and development at Stanton House is the main reason, I believe, I have been able to succeed and progress so quickly. There is a very clear induction program in place which quickly taught me all I needed to know to succeed initially as a trainee Associate Consultant. After eight months, I transitioned across to permanent Finance recruitment where I learnt about the challenges faced by leaders in Accounting and Finance and the intricacies of a whole new profession. After a while, I felt able to provide informed consultancy and expert guidance to customers and was given the opportunity to step up into the more senior role of Consultant. This period was a steep learning curve for me, but also hugely enjoyable as I got to (and still do) speak to so many interesting people. It cemented why I love working in recruitment - supporting professionals to achieve their career aspirations and helping employers to find team members, that can truly add value, is hugely rewarding.  Progression to Principal Consultant I was recently promoted to Principal Consultant and am one of the top billers in permanent recruitment across the business. It has not been without challenges or lessons learned along the way. The recruitment profession has many highs and lows and you can’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone or make mistakes. The key is to learn from those mistakes and to use the people around you for continuous feedback and self-development. Permanent recruitment requires a huge amount of detail in order to match professionals to their ideal employer and role. Ensuring a perfect skills match and cultural fit - on both sides - takes understanding, patience and perseverance. You must leave no stone unturned!I feel that the leadership team at Stanton House run the business in a democratic way and are always open to new ideas. I have always been given the opportunity to help shape new ways of working, share best practice and refine processes but above all else the training and development is second to none – it doesn’t stop when you become a top biller it just gets more focused and bespoke. Learning & development never stops at Stanton House I feel my ability to manage a process from start to finish has increased dramatically over the last six months due to the ongoing training, feedback and development I have received.  This has covered everything from improving my negotiations skills, managing customer expectations and genuinely finding ways to help professionals and employers through these difficult times. For example, I have contributed to some of our recent insight papers and career/hiring advice guides which (I hope) provide the guidance our customers need in this new era of work.I have also been lucky enough to have a mentor in Henry Yeomans, our Vice President of our US Cyber Security business, to help guide and push me in the right direction. Our monthly discussions have been invaluable.I feel that the increased responsibility the business has offered me, at each stage of progression, has enabled me to overcome any self-doubts and to become more confident in my own abilities.The Learning & Development team constantly come up with new training sessions and ideas to help everyone in the business develop and progress – whatever level they are. In fact, i have just embarked upon a whole new Exceptional Performance Programme which is designed to fine tune my recruitment skills and capabilities even further.  This is exciting, as even after two years with the business, I feel that I am only at the tip of the iceberg of developing my knowledge, skills and expertise and very much look forward to more personal growth! To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, meg.abbleby@stantonhouse.com, 0779 590 9781.

Business Intelligence Insight Paper

UNLOCKING THE POWER OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Download your copy of our insight paperIn these times of great technological change, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. Download our latest insight paper which features top tips on increasing your BI capability along with case studies from leading Business Intelligence experts operating in different sectors.  Download

Cyber Security Insight Paper

CISOs NOW IS THE TIME TO SECURE INVESTMENT

Business leaders are discussing what increased remote working and reduced real estate costs mean for investment and budgets for their different business functions going forward – including of course - Information and Cyber Security. So, now more than ever CISOs need to ensure that they have a voice in these discussions and a seat at the board table.  Download our insight paper Our recent insight paper features the key takeaways from our recent CISO virtual roundtable where the challenges of setting best practice for secure remote working and obtaining budget were discussed. Our guest speaker and Senior Technology Leader, Dan Crisp also shares the techniques he has found most valuable in convincing key stakeholders to invest in Information and Cyber Security.  Download

Finance-leaders

THE FINANCE LEADER’S NEW MODUS OPERANDI

Stanton House interviews finance leadersThrough a series of interviews with top CFOs and FDs we have explored how finance leaders, operating in different sectors, have adapted to change through the pandemic and met external pressures head on. Our interviews reveal both the common and varied challenges encountered as finance teams initially worked hard to guide their organisations through the immediate crisis.Download our insight paper Download your copy of our insight paper to discover their key insights, lessons learned and their views on how their role is evolving as we start to emerge from the pandemic.   Download

RPA Roundtable

Embracent & Stanton House Roundtable

The recording from our RPA roundtable, co-hosted with embracent, is now live. Watch to see interesting discussions on RPA, including a demonstration of how a bot can be used on a #Finance system for invoice matching.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED?

Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?

The scale and speed at which organisations are embracing digital technology is rapidly increasing. But, how do you keep your digital projects on track and ensure new tech is adopted in this era of remote working? What are the skills needed across your organisation which enable successful, lasting transformation? Our new insight paper ‘Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?’ explores these urgent questions. Download your copy and let us know how you are developing your digital transformation strategy and implementing your digital programmes and projects remotely. Download

Remote-working

Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?

Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?It’s fair to say that the world of work has changed forever as we enter a new era of remote working. But what is the sentiment to remote working amongst the professional working population now?The cost and time savings of not having to commute every day are hard to dismiss and as lockdown eases, employee expectations are bound to have changed when it comes to the ‘return to the office’.So, how many days in the office do working professionals really want - given their varied individual experiences over the past few months? Over 70% of professionals now want to work in the office less than two days per weekStanton House’s recent poll, taken by over 600 professionals, reveals that a large majority (72%) would prefer to work two days or less per week in the office going forward. Less than a third (29%) would prefer to work three days or more per week in the office and only 4% would like to go back to four days plus per week.One to two days in the office comes out on top, with over half, (54%) voting for this as their preference and 18% say they would prefer to work from home 100% of the time. These findings suggest that while some crave the return to an office environment the vast majority have come to the conclusion that they will never want to work in the office five days per week, ever again.  43% more men than women want to work remotely 100% of the timeInterestingly, when comparing sentiment to remote working between gender, our poll reveals that a higher proportion of men (20%) would prefer to work remotely all of the time - compared to only 14% of women – that’s a 43% increase. The opposite is true for one to two days in the office, where a higher proportion of women (58%) voted for this as their preference - compared to 51% of men.Our poll cements what we already know - that organisations will be required to rethink their approach to remote, agile, and flexible working - putting People and Culture teams, front and centre, to design and drive this change. But have employers really seen clear benefits from this forced change to a homeworking environment and how committed are they to expanding and extending remote working, organisation-wide, for the long term? Will new HR policies align to the consensus revealed by our poll, or indeed go even further and flex to the individual?Employers realise the benefits of remote working Many of the business leaders I speak to tell me, that they have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working, not least the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with reduced real estate needs.Not including utilities, security and maintenance the rent per seat in the UK can range from *£150 to £1500 per month, depending on location and the amenities available. London’s West End tips the scales, where it can cost **£207 annually just to put your laptop down on a desk.If you consider the floor space some large corporates take in the expensive high-rise buildings in Canary Wharf and The City of London for example, these cost savings can amount to millions. There can be no doubt that employers across the country will be modelling different scenarios with reduced office space. Leadership teams within organisations, both large and small, will be debating not if, but how much and to what extent, their workforce will continue working remotely in the long-term.Just a few of the companies that have already announced intent to expand work-from-home in the UK include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone, HSBC, Twitter, Facebook and Unilever. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint….I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley, CEOHowever, this commitment to expand remote working it is not just to save costs on office space. Most leaders I speak to tell me they have experienced increased productivity, better collaboration and teamwork, increased employee engagement and a significant reduction in absenteeism - dispelling the many concerns and misconceptions to homeworking pre-Covid-19. Having the right, secure technology and communication channels has been critical to achieving this, however, as has having managers, who don’t revert to micromanagement amidst uncertainty, but are able to trust and enable their teams.Training needs have also been highlighted and identified, particularly for middle management, where resilience, adaptability and agility are often cited as key competencies which are lacking. Additionally, the spotlight on employee wellbeing has only magnified through this crisis as has the continued importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  The challenge for employers right nowAs many employers once again pivot their people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment, maintaining the benefits gained amidst lockdown and addressing the technology and talent issues identified will be critical to lasting innovation and growth. The ramifications of getting the technology, talent or operating model wrong will be catastrophic for the competitiveness of any business as we enter this new era of work.   Employers now need to ask themselves - do they have the internal expertise needed to design, implement and sustain the huge culture shift that is required? And if big corporate offices are a thing of the past where and how will people come together to collaborate? How do individuals continue to nurture the ‘social equity’ they’ve built over the years with colleagues and customers - remotely? Can we ever really replicate the benefits of socialising after work, the corridor conversations and meeting someone face-to-face?  The critical questions many business leaders and HR professionals are now trying to answer now are:1. How do we once again pivot our people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment?2. Do we have the right / secure technology and communication channels to support a hybrid (office/home) working model?3. How do we maintain the benefits gained from remote working amidst Covid-19?  4. How do we tackle the tech and training needs identified and truly enable our manager population? 5. How will we evolve our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain the best talent, now that flexible and remote working is the ‘new norm’?6. What are the ramifications of getting any of these considerations wrong?  *Instant Offices UK Commercial Market Summary 2019 ** Instant Offices Get in touchIf you need help finding talent with the necessary expertise to transform your business for the new era of remote working, please get in touch. About the pollThe poll was posted to Stanton House’s company LinkedIn network of over 25,000 followers. The poll was live for 1 week from the 27th June 2020 to the 4th July 2020. 611 people voted answering the question: “How many days in the office would you prefer to work per week?”

Your Next Move: RPA

Your Next Move: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Finance Transformation space as an effective way of optimising repetitive processes and enhancing Finance functions by unlocking true ‘human value'.But how do you identify exactly where to use intelligent automation to make Finance operations more efficient? How do you build on and optimise what’s already been implemented?We’ve partnered with embracent, leading experts in intelligent automation, to provvide use cases which demonstrate where RPA has been applied to real life situations. Our insight paper includes a case study on Stanton House’s own Finance function.  Download your copy and let us know if and how you plan to invest in intelligent automation to transform your Finance function. Download

digital-transformation

Which soft skills enable digital transformation?

Talent versus technologyI passionately believe that digital transformation is about talent just as much, if not more so, than technology. While finding the right balance between technical and soft skills will always be essential, business leaders must go further in these times of uncertainly to ensure that digital transformation is a success. Technology can improve efficiencies, productivity and enable human value but only if you have the right behaviours and competencies across your organisation.So how can organisations ensure they have the right skills across their organisation to enable successful transformation? Aligning workforce competencies and behavioursIt’s an unfortunate fact that many digital transformation programmes which aim to implement new technology, develop digital capabilities and achieve sustainable business performance improvement, fail to deliver in the long-term. The biggest obstacle is that new digital capabilities call for specific workforce competencies (the skills, knowledge, and beliefs held by employees) and fundamental changes in behaviors (the ways that leaders, managers and employees work on a daily basis). These are the ‘muscles’ that companies must build and strengthen in order to sustain the benefits of digital transformation. Leaders must engage their people in understanding what this change will mean for them individually and for the business. Crucially, the communication of the vision must be relatable to all, this will ensure that change is truly embraced, adopted and sustained.  Without a systematic and explicit approach, organisations can, at best, acquire or develop the right workforce competencies and change behaviors only superficially and temporarily. Once the transformation process is over and attention shifts to the next priority, employees can easily revert to their old ways of working and the improvements of the transformation disappear.Ensuring that you set out to identify, align and purposefully develop the workforce competencies and behaviours that enable digital transformation is therefore paramount to success. The competencies which enable digital adoption & transformationEvery employee now needs the ability to perform tasks, manage information, share knowledge and work with others in a digital and remote context. The employers we speak to regularly identify the following workforce competencies as essential for enabling successful digital adoption and transformation: • Resilient / Emotionally Intelligent - Self-aware and able to cope with pressure and setbacks• Adaptable - Learn from setbacks and changing course quickly • Analytical - Evaluate situations and analyse information to form data-driven decisions• Curious - Ask questions, listen and solve problems creatively • Collaborative - Interact with others remotely and work together towards common goals• Communicative - Communicate, influence and maintain rapport with others via technology• Proactive - Take initiative and follow through to accomplish objectives• Process Oriented - Methodical approach to task and project delivery• Commercial - Understand the business, the needs of customers and develop new opportunities• Coaching mindset - Support the development of others and motivate them through feedback and encouragement The hiring managers we spoke to during strict lockdown, most often referred to Resilience as the competency that they needed most from their workforce during that time. One senior professional said to me, “Resilience has been key for getting through this period. It is clear to see which individuals are more resilient and adaptable to change as business priorities quickly change.”So, to survive the digital future, organisations need employees who are adaptable and digitally ready and able to cope with rapidly changing circumstances.In fact, I’d go further and say that it is not possible to leverage the changes and opportunities afforded by digital technology if your talent does not have the right mindset towards technological change. Download our insight paper For more on this topic, download a full version of our insight paper 'Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?,' where we explore what constitutes the right mindset needed for change and share the technical skills and talent in demand right now. Download Share your insights If you need help finding talent with the necessary competencies to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are progressing your digital transformation projects in these challenging times. Join our virtual roundtables  We are hosting virtual roundtables on this topic. Please get in touch, expressing your interest and we will ensure you are included in our promotion of these. 

Inclusion-at-work

INCLUSION AT WORK: THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF YOUR TALENT

Download our insight paperInclusion is critical to every aspect of any business that is about people and now more than ever, these challenging times call for business leaders to maintain focus on engaging and retaining their workforce. Undoubtedly, increased homeworking adds a new layer of complexity, but employees still need to feel secure in their connectivity to their organisation and be given the opportunity to contribute and participate in a meaningful way - albeit remotely. So how can leaders ensure that they are on the right path to being and becoming more inclusive? Download our insight paper, a culmination of our recent blog series, to discover top tips from diversity and inclusion expert Paul Anderson-Walsh, from the Centre of Inclusive Leadership. Download Share you insightsWe would love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies in this new era of work. Please get in touch to share your insights.

Business-Intelligence

Do you have the keys to unlock the power of Business Intelligence?

Increasing Business Intelligence capabilityIn these times of great technological change and ongoing economic uncertainty, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. But despite countless ways to collect information and connect people, the world has become more fragmented than ever before, and it’s holding businesses back.Data analytics provides accurate analysis and interpretation of business-wide internal, and macroeconomic external data, to the right people at the right time, equipping leaders with much needed foresight in these unprecedented times.As such, organisations, both large and small, are increasingly preoccupied with growing their overall BI capability. They are investing in talent with these skills, enabling employees to use self-serve data analysis tools and seeking ways to improve the accessibility of data to help a greater proportion of the workforce.Moving to the cloudTraditionally, business intelligence is delivered by Business Analysts using on-premises data warehouse solutions. This process can be slow with some Analysts spending the majority of their time extracting, moving and combining data instead of conducting analysis.That’s why many organisations are now creating data analytics platforms in the cloud, with accessible tools that can be used by people across different business functions across the entire organisation, instead of just a select few.Another endeavour which seeks to increase the overall BI capability of an organisation is the creation of a Business Intelligence Centre of Excellence (CoE).Establishing a Business Intelligence Centre of ExcellenceEstablishing a Business Intelligence CoE is a proven approach to achieving a strategic, cohesive, enterprise-wide BI environment. The CoE is an internal group that provides services and oversight to the various departments within an organisation and guides BI initiatives to achieve common strategic objectives i.e. service improvement, efficiency gains, cost savings, revenue growth etc. The overriding goal is to increase the BI maturity level of the organisation as a whole, to derive more value, more quickly from data insights and enable strategic decision-making at the highest level.Business Intelligence maturity levels according to GartnerIn 2015, Gartner published their much-sited maturity model giving leaders a yardstick to understand how effectively a BI or data function is supporting enterprise level goals.  The model asserts that there are five BI maturity levels:Maturity level 1: UnawareAccording to Gartner at this level the company has no information infrastructure and there is only ad hoc BI. Departments have not developed formal processes or practices and workers try to gather information with the random applications they happen to have at their disposal, predominately spreadsheets in Excel. Maturity level 2: OpportunisticAt this level there are BI and analytics projects in the organisation, but business units carry them out individually to optimise a process of their own or to make unit-specific decisions. Employees use data integration tools, databases and analytics platforms. They disseminate information via reports, ad hoc queries and dashboards.Maturity level 3: StandardsAt the third level there is coordination between people, processes and technologies across the organisation. A champion for BI and analytics emerges and there are process and IT managers who oversee projects across multiple business processes (instead of one process) that need to share analysis and decisions. Technology standards start to emerge, including standards for information infrastructure, data warehouses and BI platforms.Gartner proposes that at this level most organisations implement a BI Competency Center (BICC) or BI Center of excellence (CoE) consisting of business users, IT professionals and analysts to share expertise and improve consistency for specific applications or uses of information. Maturity level 4: EnterpriseAt the fourth level, BI is sponsored by the senior management. A second feature is that the organisation has linked multiple processes to its revenue and other goals and defined a framework of performance metrics through which processes and action towards those goals are evaluated. Gartner says that these metrics guide the implementation of enterprise strategy. Thirdly, BI applications support cross-functional or enterprise-wide decision-making processes meaning they are not limited to individual functions or processes. Gartner says that at this level, everyone from analysts to managers and senior executives, uses the same BI and analytics systems. Maturity level 5: TransformativeAt this fifth maturity level, BI and analytics are run by business and IT functions together and are supported and governed at the highest level of the organisation. The CEO sponsors the BI program or if not, the position of Chief Analytics or Data Officer has been established.Information, analytics and the whole BI system are regarded as vital for implementing the enterprise strategy. BI is used actively to increase sales, productivity and customer satisfaction and to decrease costs. The performance metrics framework is now complete and covers also partners and customers. The organisation uses decision processes like decision simulations which incorporate best practices in decision-making and optimisation technologies.  Top tips for establishing a BI Centre of ExcellenceSo, when it comes to establishing a Business Intelligence CoE, to increase the BI maturity level of an organisation, what are the key considerations and actions? We spoke with a range of Directors and ‘Heads of’ Business Intelligence who have implemented a BI Centre of Excellence across a variety of companies, industries, and global remits. It was relatively clear to spot the patterns in what they believed, joint with human elements of creating a technical solution, would be the ‘key tips’ to think about – these can be grouped into three headings:Talent Planning Change Management Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the key challenges were all about people and changing behaviours. Every leader that we spoke with was clear that if you get the talent right, the tech can look after itself, it’s then about how you make it part of the company’s DNA. Once consolidated, the top tips for building an effective BI CoE were:Talent:1.  Deeply evaluate the skills of the BI team to focus training and hiring activities. A high performing, highly skilled team is essential. Find and balance the technical skills, project discipline and ability to evangelise within the business.   2.  Do not underestimate how time to hire can derail a programme. A clear people roadmap will prevent long delays.3.  Prioritise training for end users to realise real value from the CoE. Planning:1.  Obtain a clear business mandate before anything else. 2.  Ensure that you can support ongoing business requests (within reason) during the implementation of the BI solution / CoE.3.  Spend time understanding the balance between centralised and localised BI activities.4.  Always work with trusted information with consistent definitions and known data sources.5.  Automate high-frequency, labour intensive regular report generation. 6.  Clearly demonstrate value add through meaningful KPIs. Take time to determine ROI and to prove the tangible and intangible value of the CoE but don’t wait until the end to deliver value. Incremental wins support engagement and business take up. Change Management:1.  Fix data issues at the source so users don't waste time manually adjusting or correcting data while generating insights.2.  Create a demand management forum to prioritise non-project related information required by executive stakeholders.3.  Do not scrimp on Change Management or under-estimate the extent of business change required. Keeping users and the business community engaged from kick off and up to date with what the CoE is doing is the single most important success factor.4.  Identify and train Super users within the business community to act as ‘change agents’ and promote the value of the CoE.5.  Spread the data culture of data analysis from the CoE across the organisation. Executive support is critical in making this happen.6.  Become an unashamed evangelist for self-service analytics. Run events to bring users together, demystify BI technology and identify first adopters.7.  Use engagement analysts to collaboratively work with different departments to help them self-serve. • Integrate the BI / Analytics function into any enterprise-wide transformation. We hope there is something in here that will support you in your progression through Gartner’s well-trodden path. Share your insightsIf you need help finding top BI talent to provide the insights you need to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are increasing your BI capability in these challenging times.

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