Data analytics: what you need to know

Data analytics: do you really need to call in the experts?

Jeremy Dennis | National Analytics Lead - Big Data/IoT at Modis Australia Posted 11 August 2020

The value and function of data and analytics can differ from business to business.

Whether it’s helping not-for-profits better identify at-risk Australians, enabling a large mining firm to cut its vehicle maintenance costs, or assisting police departments in solving crime faster and more effectively, investing in data analytics can add enormous value.

However, while most organisations recognise the vital importance of data – and of leveraging it to make smarter, better decisions – many are also unsure exactly where to start, or what steps to take next.

At Modis, we often help businesses get started by asking a few key questions.

This article was originally published by Jeremy Dennis on Linkedin.

Are you prepared to train your people?

While great data scientists are often adept at making the complex seem simple, the reality is that understanding data and analytics – and making sense of trends and extracting insights – is very technical work. Having an employee or team that can provide insights can be extremely beneficial - yet it’s also important that they’re qualified and able to interpret the data to the level you require. For this reason, it’s important to ensure you’re prepared to give your existing team the in-depth training they will need.

Also, according to this article, Garter and Robert Walters say the labour market for analytics professionals in Australia has grown increasingly tight, and it can take up to 18 months for an analyst to become value generating.

How will you make analytics non-exclusionary?

In order to have the most value, it’s important that data and analytics is widely accessible across the business. However, it’s also essential that you strike a balance between making data available for those who need it, and ensuring the integrity of the information when it’s used to make decisions. In many ways, this comes down to having the right tools in place – and firm rules and processes for how data is used.

Which option is the most cost/time effective?

Investing in an internal data analytics solution, and team, can require a considerable investment. Employing a new data analytics team can also make it difficult to scale analytics initiatives up over time. Sometimes, relying on an outsourced expert partner – even to some degree – can be a more cost-effective option.

According to this article, internal analytics resources are also often time constrained and find it difficult to keep up with the ad-hoc reporting and analytics requests from the business.

Do you require niche knowledge or expertise?

Sometimes, data analytics initiatives will require very specific knowledge or skills. In these instances, it can be worth outsourcing to an external provider who can offer guidance and specific expertise.

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