Ingredients of Analytics Success.
You have all the tools, but you do not see any results. Despite investing thousands of dollars in analytics software you are not having the impact you want. All you hear about are the problems. The data is bad, the tools do not work like they should, the business doesn’t know what it wants. The bottom line is you aren’t getting the return on your analytics investment. Why is that?
Successful analytics implementations require more than technical expertise, but technical talent is important. You need a fundamental grasp of data, databases, data integration and analytics packages like Tableau, PowerBI, or Cognos. But analytics is different. The experience and skill designing and creating solutions that span all of these disciplines is unlike other applications. The use cases are less specific, and the profile of needs ranges from basic reporting deployed across the organization, analytical capabilities to dozens of users to exploration capabilities to a smaller group. And everything should remain secure.
Technical talent is important, but understanding the business is equally important, in order to explore and develop insight and then deploy it to the time and place where it matters. And it isn’t just understanding the basics, but looking at the business with the mind of
a creator, because more often than not, what you are looking for isn’t typically captured by operational systems. Often you will need to combine data from multiple systems – to capture labor and sales, or orders, shipments and payments.
Modern Technology, Good Design.
There is where modern technology and a well architected environment can help. A high performing, well organized solution removes the obstacles that create friction, as data savvy explorers look for insights and useful information. This work is challenging and requires frequent iterations and many ideas should be tested. If this goes slowly, and takes significant effort this process becomes significantly more difficult.
Modern applications also come with advanced tools and features that can automate some exploration. Cognos, for example, incorporates Watson Analytics and allows analysts to perform AI assisted data exploration to see and understand data very quickly in ways that a human probably cannot. In addition to speed and accuracy, this has the benefit of removing bias and assumptions from the work, opening the doors to possibilities that humans often resist.
Layering these advanced AI tools on top of high performing technology and well designed solutions enables even more intelligence. In the right hands, each iteration is faster, and accomplishes much more. The performance and advanced tools meet the business talent where it is needed and enables effective analytics and business success. The result is a virtuous cycle that creates a sustained competitive advantage.
Drop me a note, I’d be happy to talk about it.