Creating an internal analytics center of excellence is part of building a world-class organizational capability in analytics. These are the essentials:

Multidisciplinary leadership. The leading body of a center of excellence should be composed of business, information-technology, and analytics leaders. The center will need someone to work with business units to identify and articulate problems, as well as someone who can work with modelers to find the right approaches. Today, a few insurers have hired people with titles such as chief decision scientist and chief data officer to head new departments of digitally savvy experts. These roles will become more common, but finding individuals with the desired combination of technical skills and business-leadership experience will not be easy (by 2018, global demand for technical and managerial talent will exceed supply by 50 to 60 percent).

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