What is an Analytics Center of Excellence (COE)?

Analytics Center of Excellence Capabilities

An analytics center of excellence (COE) can serve as framework for managing shared services from a central IT organization such as DoIT.  A properly executed COE delivered via a proven methodology such as Imagine™ will reduce that risk and lead to the expected return on investment.  Voyatek has worked with our clients such as National Institutes of Health and City of Boston to implement aspects of a COE to bolster their shared services and better manage the processes.  In addition, it should be structured to cut costs, simplify, and unify implementations, centralize governance, and increase user adoption.  Specifically, a COE will deliver:


  • Support – Analytics and data expertise for the business prior to, during and after an implementation.
  • Guidance – Proven and relevant standards, processes, analytics or data-specific methodologies, and knowledge repositories.
  • Shared Learning – Enterprise level training along with best practices, lessons learned, and other knowledge sharing.
  • Cost Savings – Reuse and collective sourcing cut levels of effort needed and eliminate waste across projects.
  • Measurements – Use of metrics to evaluate project success and shared services impact on enterprise knowledge
  • Governance – Coordination across the enterprise, management of limited resources, and enable economies of scale.


Through the implementation of these COE tactics, DoIT will realize significant business value including higher quality information and better decisions, faster implementations, lower capital and operational expenses, and reduced downtime. COE’s can lead to savings of over 25% of a project’s costs through shared expenses (e.g., project management, development, licensing, hardware), increased uniformity of implementations, and leveraging of best practices.  Another important advantage of a COE is to gain a common forms, templates, and a central repository for documentation and knowledge.  Additional, but equally important benefits include better customer service and communications with the business that leads to better relationships.


There is a spectrum of COE models that exist.  The appropriate model should be selected based on the Maryland’s organization, politics, and goals.  The model can evolve over time as the organization matures their analytical capabilities.  It is not realistic to think that a mature COE can be implemented quickly without interim steps.  Our Outcomes through Analytics Framework provides the steps to get the COE underway in each of the focus areas:  Strategy, Processes, Technology, and, Organization.


  Best Practices Technology Standards Shared Services Central Services
Strategy Started Expanded Completed Managed
Processes Defined Refined Refined Finalized
Technology Recommended Standardized Standardized Shared
Organization Distributed Distributed Hybrid Centralized



As an option, Voyatek can work with DoIT to identify what model (or parts of a model) makes the most sense to provide the structure.


While a formal COE may not be an ideal solution for every organization, the components and framework can help DoIT and its customer organizations to provide a higher level of service and value.  A COE can also be created in a manner to serve as the program management framework.