February 16, 2023

Ultimate Guide to Analytics Center of Excellence

By Luke Stanke

Data analytics has become an essential part of modern business operations. It allows organizations to make informed decisions based on data-driven insights and to measure and improve their performance. To effectively leverage the power of data analytics, many organizations have created an Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE).

An ACE is a dedicated team or unit within an organization that is responsible for managing and optimizing the use of data and analytics. It serves as a hub for data-related activities and is responsible for:

  • Establishing and enforcing data governance standards
  • Training & development
  • Driving data-driven decision-making throughout the organization

In this blog, we will cover the steps for creating an Analytics Center of Excellence, the roles and responsibilities within it, its ideal structure, and ultimately, the benefits of having an ACE in place.

How to Create an Analytics Center of Excellence

Step 1: Determine the Purpose and Goals of the ACE

Before you can create an ACE, it’s important to understand why you need one and what you hope to achieve with it. Some common data strategy goals of an ACE include improving data quality and governance, enhancing data-driven decision-making, increasing efficiency and productivity, and establishing a culture of data-driven thinking throughout the organization.

Step 2: Identify the Stakeholders and Decision-makers

An ACE will likely involve multiple stakeholders and decision makers across different departments and levels of the organization. It’s important to identify these stakeholders early on, and to ensure that they are involved in the planning and implementation process. This will help to ensure buy-in and support for the ACE from the outset.

Step 3: Assemble a Team of Experts

An ACE team should consist of individuals with a range of skills and expertise in a variety of data science areas such as data analysis, data engineering, business analysis, and data governance. It’s important to ensure that the team has a diverse set of skills and perspectives, as this will help to ensure that the ACE can effectively meet the needs of the organization.

Step 4: Define the Scope and Responsibilities of the ACE

It’s essential to clearly define the scope and responsibilities of the ACE, to ensure that it is focused and effective. This might include defining the types of data and analytics that the ACE will be responsible for, as well as the processes and policies used to manage and analyze data.

Step 5: Establish Processes and Policies for Data Management and Analysis

An ACE should establish clear processes and policies for managing and analyzing data. This might include establishing standards for data quality and governance, as well as defining the roles and responsibilities of different team members.

Step 6: Define the Metrics for Measuring Success

In order to effectively measure the impact and value of the ACE, it’s important to establish clear metrics for success. These might include metrics such as the number of data-driven initiatives launched, the number of employees trained in data analytics, and the impact of data-driven decisions on business performance.

Analytics Center of Excellence – Roles and Responsibilities

An ACE team should consist of individuals with various skills and expertise, including:

Lead Data Analyst/Data Scientist:
This individual should have strong analytical skills and experience with data analysis and visualization tools. They will be responsible for leading data-driven projects and initiatives–and for communicating the insights and recommendations derived from data analysis to stakeholders.

Data Engineers:
Data engineers are responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure and systems that support data collection, storage, and processing. They work closely with data analysts and data scientists to ensure that data is properly structured and available for analysis.

Business Analysts:
Business analysts are responsible for understanding the needs and goals of the business–and for translating those needs into specific data-driven initiatives and projects. They work closely with data analysts and data scientists to identify and prioritize opportunities for data-driven improvements–and to develop and implement solutions.

Data Governance Team:
The data governance team is responsible for ensuring that data is collected, stored, and used in a way that is consistent with the organization’s policies and regulations. They work closely with the ACE team to establish and enforce data governance standards–and to ensure that data is being used ethically and responsibly.

Project Manager: 
The project manager is responsible for coordinating the work of the ACE team–and for ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget. They work closely with the lead data analyst and other team members to plan and execute data-driven initiatives.

Other Roles as Needed:
Depending on the organization’s needs, the ACE team may include other roles such as data architects, data analysts, and data visualization specialists.

Analytics Center of Excellence – Team Structure

There are several different approaches to structuring an ACE team, including:

Centralized vs. Decentralized:
A centralized ACE is a single, dedicated team responsible for managing and optimizing data and analytics throughout the organization. A decentralized ACE, on the other hand, consists of multiple teams spread across different departments or regions, each with its own focus and responsibilities.

Co-located vs. Distributed Team:
A co-located team works in the same physical location, while a distributed team works remotely or from multiple locations.

Hierarchical vs. Flat Structure:
A hierarchical structure consists of a transparent chain of command, with decisions being made by higher-level managers and executives. A flat structure, on the other hand, is more decentralized, with decisions being made by team members at all levels.

Benefits of an Analytics Center of Excellence

An Analytics Center of Excellence can provide several benefits to an organization, including:

Improved Data Quality and Governance: 
By establishing clear standards and processes for data management and analysis, an ACE can help to improve the quality and reliability of data and to ensure that it is being used ethically and responsibly.

Enhanced Data-Driven Decision-Making:
An ACE can help to ensure that data and analytics are being used to inform and support business decisions, leading to more informed and effective decision-making.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity:
By centralizing data-related activities and expertise, an ACE can help to streamline processes and reduce the amount of time and resources spent on data management and analysis.

Greater Collaboration and Sharing of Best Practices: 
An ACE can facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices among team members and throughout the organization, leading to greater collaboration and innovation.

Enhanced Ability to Attract and Retain Top Talent:
By establishing itself as a center of excellence in data and analytics, an organization can attract and retain top talent in these fields.


An Analytics Center of Excellence can be a valuable asset for any organization looking to leverage data and analytics. By establishing clear goals, assembling a team of experts, and establishing processes and policies for data management and analysis, organizations can create an ACE that is focused, effective, and delivers real value. 

The benefits of an ACE include improved data quality and governance, enhanced data-driven decision-making, increased efficiency and productivity, and the ability to attract and retain top talent.

Interested in creating an Analytics Center of Excellence in your organization?

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