If you believe what you read from the likes of Deloitte, HBR and MIT Sloan, you might think that the people side of change needed to get business benefits from business analytics is as hard, if not harder, than the technical work to turn data and information technology into the models and tools you want your employees to use. You need a strategy for “change management” that directly addresses the needs of your people and your culture.

When you look for it, it’s not hard to find examples of the importance of change management. Three recent articles in the Wall Street Journal make the point:

  • At Gold’s Gym, CIO Bill Floyd says “The biggest challenge is the change management process” when describing their gym management software upgrade.
  • At Red Robin, CIO Chris Laping is leaving to form a new consultancy called People Before Things LLC, saying that “Companies can get really enamored with the technology… but we’ve learned that truly successful tech initiatives had great change leadership support.”
  • At TIAA-CREF, Jaime Punishill, head of cross-channel customer strategy, talked about the role of Chief Digital Officer being as much about helping people change as it is to use new technology, observing that “Humans do not want to change. Organizations do not want to change.”

Without the necessary investment in managing change for your people and your organization’s culture, change management research shows you are less likely to get the planned ROI from your investments in technology and data.

Even if you build it, they still might not come.

The good news is that research based frameworks exist for organizing effective change management activities that integrate with your traditional project management activities to design and deploy technology and data solutions for business analytics.

One such framework is provided by Prosci® (www.prosci.com), a world leader in benchmarking research and change management products. Prosci® research shows that projects with excellent change management effectiveness are 6 times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives.

As a Prosci® certified Change Management professional, I can help you plan, execute and reinforce the required changes in people and culture to complement your investment in business analytics technology and data, maximizing the likelihood of achieving your business objectives and putting you on the road to becoming a successful analytical competitor.

Gene Connolly is an independent consultant with a passion for data and analytics; reading, writing and sharing what he knows with others who have an interest in how they can harness the power of prediction for themselves. You can find him on LinkedIn , on Twitter  or by email at gene@connollyconsultants.com.