4 Tips to Get the Organization Started with Analytics

The more freedom you have, the harder it is to decide what to do. Analytics has so many applications now. Where do you start? In an article for InformationWeek, Lisa Morgan collects some tips from experts on practical ways to get started with analytics:

  • Prove value, not concepts.
  • Analytics should begin in the area where you can generate value the fastest.
  • Get an executive sponsor.
  • Expect to be surprised.

Dawn of the Data

Analytics is not like building a house, where the whole thing needs to be finished up front in order for it to have value. For the sake of generating excitement in the business, you are better off getting a fast and simple version of analytics off the ground. You can do that by applying analytics to a practical, uncomplicated project and generating a quick win. This win proves that analytics has direct value to the business, and it becomes the springboard for bigger things. Bigger is a relative term though. Analytics may apply and derive significant value in both strategic and tactical situations.

Whatever you try to do, make sure somebody at the top is supporting the initiative. Particularly, you want somebody with control over finances in your corner. Having money on your side makes everything easier. Still, the initiative will likely not go exactly as you had planned. Be prepared for some surprises and setbacks:

It’s … difficult to anticipate what unexpected circumstances might arise, especially when launching an analytics project without the help of an expert. For example, it may be difficult to get the necessary data from IT or from another department because they don’t want to share it.

People new to analytics also tend to overlook data quality. Poor data quality can cause spurious analytical results and perfect data quality is virtually unattainable. It’s wise to understand the tradeoffs between data quality and the time and expense it takes to get it into a state that’s “good enough” for the purposes it will serve. An expert can help you find that balance.

You can view the original article here:

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