You’ve got buy-in for analytics. What now?

Jeremy Dennis | National Analytics Lead - Big Data/IoT at Modis Australia Posted 10 July 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.

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What do you want to achieve?

It may sound like an obvious consideration, but a great number of businesses embark on analytics projects without first understanding their broader organisational goals or objectives for doing so.

Yet only when you have a solid understanding of your strategic objectives, can you realistically start to think about how you will achieve it. This means asking straightforward questions such as:

  • Do you want to develop your own analytics capability, or do you simply want the outcomes?
  • Have you chosen a delivery methodology suitable for analytics projects?
  • Do you intend for a distributed analytics capability, a centralised one, or something in-between?
  • Do you intend to hire capability, develop capability in-house, or use partners to fill skills gaps?
  • What does a successful analytics capability look like?

How have you prioritised your initiatives?

Like many things, taking a steady, step-by-step approach often works best for developing an analytics capability. Rather than taking a ‘big bang’ approach – and completely revolutionising the way in which your business or organisation tackles data, it can be wise to focus on a single area first.

An early success can also give you a ‘lighthouse’ project – which you can reference as a basis for future projects. Your analytics methodology should include a mechanism to prioritise your initiatives according to metrics that are important to your business.

Being able to prioritise initiatives, from the beginning, is a key part of ensuring long-term success.

Do you already have the data?

Again, this may sound like an obvious question – but many businesses don’t have a firm grasp on how much data they collect, or where it resides.

Many of our customers already use data to some extent, but don’t know how far they could take their analysis, or where the parameters of their data lie. Understanding the whereabouts, depth and scope of your available data is a vital initial step.

What tools do you use, or intend to use?

Data can be captured and interpreted in a myriad of ways, and every data analyst will have a preferred system, method or platform. Before you get started, be sure to understand what systems you use currently, if any, and determine if this needs to change in any way.

This can be particularly challenging because:

  • The technology landscape is evolving rapidly
  • All tools have their strengths and weaknesses
  • A certain tool’s ability to analyse different types of data can vary from another
  • There may be limited availability of skilled resources in your employment zone

Choosing the wrong technology might also leave you with an expensive technical debt!

Seeking guidance from a partner like Modis can help put you on the right track in terms of knowing which methodology, tools and technology are the right fit for your business.

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