With all of the hype surrounding analytics, and the potential it holds for organizations, there is a trend emerging of neglecting to proactively invest in a solid data and data management foundation before pursing analytics initiatives. The unfortunate result is that data related issues – such as data gaps, data quality, insufficient governance measures and a lack of technical capacity – are uncovered as part of analytics initiatives and cause delays in order to backtrack and resolve the underlying data issues.
The over eagerness of organizations investing in analytics before their data stems from the business side, where leaders are looking to or being tasked to drive growth, create a competitive advantage, and better connect to the customer. The environment is very fast-paced and there is often extreme pressure to act quickly in hopes of attaining real-time insights to make decisions and take actions before competitors do. This drives a lot more interest in analytics over the foundational aspects, and unfortunately can lead to delays in meeting analytics goals. Consulting partners have a great opportunity to play a key role in minimizing data issues as their clients pursue analytics initiatives by being extra diligent in confirming that the client’s data and data management methods are thorough and able to support analytics. This necessitates the consulting firm to ensure both technical and business experts are on hand in the beginning stages of analytics engagements to swiftly and accurately identify data issues, and also have the skill-set to convey those issues and their implications to the analytics initiative leader.
Erin Hichman leads IT Consulting research for ALM Intelligence