This Secret Formula Will Make You an Analytics Superhero


After you’ve built the business case for how to solve your company’s big data analytics problem, you may be left wondering if proposing data analytics software will make your role obsolete.

Never fear, what you propose will make you an analytics hero and an invaluable part of your company.

In the first two parts of this series we discussed how to justify when, what and how much data analytics software product your company should buy. If you missed these articles, don’t forget to go back and see how to become an analytics hero in your business by considering a hybrid approach to a modern BI platform and exploring options for deploying and supporting a big data analytics solution.

Assess Resources, Assets, Objectives

To be successful on your big data analytics journey, you need to take stock of the resources and assets that are available. You also need to have a deep understanding of the business problems you and your colleagues want to address.

After you’ve invested time and energy into understanding your organization’s existing analytic investments and the unmet analytic needs, you need to consider how to best empower people to deliver the analytics insight they crave and truly become a data-driven business.

As the analytics hero, the strategic and tactical decisions and processes belong to you and your team. Let’s look at a few best practices that will assist you in delivering on the promises, plans and wishes of the business. As a long-time practitioner and supporter of analytics, my most successful customers have rolled out new ways of doing and thinking about analytics with common best practices.

How to Become an Analytics Hero

This secret formula for big data analytic success will answer your final questions about how to become an analytics hero.

Use what you have

The successful deployment of analytics systems depends primarily on delivering the proper function to the business, while continue to support the communities that are already using these systems. “Rip and replace” often sounds like a clean start, but it comes with unforeseen delays and complexity that creates bitterness and tension in the community. Additionally, as new products are rolled out they may have issues that you were not aware of upfront because of the nature of your business.

Buy what you need

One size does not fit all. Purchasing independent software solutions can be tricky and the criterion varies. However, since you have a list of business use cases and their value, you can start to prioritize which features and capabilities are paramount to changing the business and which features would be nice to have. After examining this list, buy what you cannot easily build. For example, in the world of data integration and preparation, reaching out to data sources is a key component to streamline the process of delivering analytics. Buy platforms that support the sources you need. This allows you to have the independent software vendor deliver maintenance and support on the diverse data environments without distracting your teams from chasing every new source that comes around.

Basics and more

People always say remember your basics. But what does that mean? In the case of big data analytics, the owners of science projects who have been driving the process have been cavalier about the needs of the larger organization for too long. Security, governance, metadata management, modeling, and sharing need to be prioritized and then rolled out through the lifetime of these projects. The idea of “back of the envelope” metadata management or data modeling is time consuming and wasteful.

Build what you want

Selecting a packaged solution may free you up to do more customized builds for your business’ unique characteristics. For example, I have a client that designs and manufactures “ocean-faring” boat buoys. Clearly no software package can meet their unique needs, so they must build what they want.

Iterate, iterate and iterate

Choose and design a hybrid solution that allows you to deliver agile solutions. That doesn’t mean you have to go and build new things everyday. Rather, select a good mix of out-of-the-box products that meet your criteria for scalability, governance/security, analysis, visualization, and management. At the same time, take your home-grown projects and understand which ones are unique to your business and which ones can be slowly moved onto a more managed solution lifecycle.

Your Own Recipe for Success

This recipe for success is made up of observations of what has transpired and succeeded in the market.

As with all fruitful secret formulas, tweak it as you go with new knowledge.

Adventure out, and don’t be afraid to become your business’ analytic hero. Championing new ways of thinking and creating analytics could be the way you save your business and usher in a new data driven approach to operational excellence.

Title image by by Ryan McGuire 

Joanna Schloss is a subject matter expert in data and information management, and drives product marketing tactics and strategy as director of product marketing at Datameer. Her areas of expertise include big data analytics, business intelligence, business analytics and data warehousing.


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