The Right Data. Analytics also requires data that is in the proper shape and condition. It must be complete, accurate, timely, relevant, and consistent or business people won’t trust it and stop using it, even if their organization has invested millions of dollars in data-centric tools and technologies. Organizations also need to invest in the right kinds of data—internal and external, structured and unstructured—that business people need to answer critical questions. They also need to treat data as a corporate asset that is as precious as cash or people.
Commentary from Analytical Leaders
Ken Rudin: You succeed with analytics when you stay focused on the end goal. It isn’t enough to find patterns in the data and highlight trends and outliers in fancy charts, or deliver insights that can potentially drive business value. Your analysts must actually create business value... (To read more insight from Rudin, click here.)
Tim Leonard: To succeed with analytics, you need to put as much emphasis on the “business” as on “intelligence.” I rose up through the technical ranks and learned the hard way that you can’t be perceived as an IT person. You need to be perceived as a business person who uses technology to solve business problems... (To read more insight from Leonard, click here.)
Eric Colson: The key to success starts with getting the right people. I’ve learned that it’s far more important to hire people with the right personal qualities than the right technical skills. You want people who are curious, creative, tenacious, and passionate about what they do... (To read more insight from Colson, click here.)
Dan Ingle: My keys to success are pretty straightforward: 1) build things iteratively and incrementally using an agile development process, 2) adapt to circumstances and not be wedded to a particular solution or methodology, and 3) foster teamwork to increase productivity and effectiveness... (To read more insight from Ingle, click here.)
Kurt Thearling: There are numerous things that organizations overlook when implementing advanced analytics. One is the importance of curating your data—that is, deciding what data to make available for analysis, and organizing that data so it’s easy for users to find and access. This is not just data quality, which is also important, but for different reasons... (To read more insight from Thearling, click here.)
Darren Taylor: The three keys to creating a successful analytics program are: 1) obtain strong executive understanding and support, 2) deliver quick, meaningful business wins, and 3) make one person and group accountable for the program... (To read more insight from Taylor, click here.)
Amy O'Connor: The way that we’ll succeed at Nokia is to create a culture that treats data as our most critical asset. The keys to making this happen are executive support, evangelism, and collaboration. I don’t have technology at the top of this list because that part comes easy to people at Nokia... (To read more insight from O'Connor, click here.)
There are many factors involved in running a successful analytics program. But providing the right culture, people, organization, architecture, and data are the basis for success. Eckerson examines the outer layers of the framework in Part II of his book—that’s the “soft stuff” of people, projects and processes.
Wayne Eckerson Founder and Principal Consultant for BI Leader Consulting, which provides advisory services to user and vendor organizations in the areas of data warehousing, BI, performance management and business analytics. Eckerson is a veteran thought leader in the business intelligence field who is a noted speaker, blogger, and consultant and author of several books and many in-depth reports. He can be reached at: email@example.com