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What is developing a centre of excellence?

Welcome to the Nightingale HQ overview of developing a centre of excellence services. Here we aim to introduce people to what they need to know.

Definition of developing a centre of excellence

From Wikipedia

A centre of excellence (COE) is a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area.

The focus area could be data analytics, data science, AI or business intelligence.

What is developing a centre of excellence?

Executive view

Developing a centre of excellence promotes collaboration in your business and defines best practice for your specific focus area - whether it be AI, data science, analytics or business intelligence - to drive progress towards your strategic goals. A centre of excellence provides a central department of expertise that can be leveraged to build capability and enthusiasm across different departments.
Developing a centre of excellence helps businesses:

  • foster a positive data culture
  • define best practices
  • promote collaboration
  • provide a way to build skills and solutions that support your data science strategy

Business function leader view

Developing a centre of excellence helps teams to build skills, knowledge and progress in the area of focus. If your organisation has a data strategy, a data science strategy or an AI strategy, developing a centre of excellence is a tried and tested method for ensuring that all teams are aligned towards the strategic goals and are progressing towards them.
You may need this service if:

  • you have a data science strategy but are not seeing enough progress towards the strategic goals.
  • you are having trouble fostering enthusiasm and positive culture for data science and AI.
  • your team lacks the skill and knowledge required to implement data initiatives.

KPIs you should consider measuring for this are:

  • improved progress towards strategic goals
  • increased enthusiasm for the focus area
  • increased up-skilling of staff in the focus area

Technical view

Developing a centre of excellence sets and maintains best practices for the focus area, creating a central function that can make software and technology decisions, avoiding the risk of shadow IT and improving IT efficiency across the organisation. Developing a centre of excellence can also create leadership opportunities for technologists in the organisation, improving staff retention by allowing career progression.
Developing a centre of excellence helps deliver:

  • a central function for software and technology decision making.
  • increased awareness of IT issues across the organisation.
  • improved skills across the organisation.
    Get this service if you encounter:
  • shadow IT - software and technology decisions being made by different departments without IT being involved.
  • a lack of appreciation for the focus area by other departments.
  • poor staff retention due to a lack of career progression opportunities.
    Key criteria to consider are:
  • Does enough talent exist within the organisation to develop a centre of excellence or will you need to recruit experts?
  • How will you up-skill staff from relevant departments?
  • How will the decisions of the centre of excellence be communicated and upheld across the organisation?