Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine, November/December 2014 - Page 38

g oal - d rive n a n a ly t i c s and tactics, but has a specific focus on project-level strategic implementation. 3. Comprehensive assessment. It is infinitely more effective to select the most viable and valuable modeling project after having surveyed leadership, team members, resources and the environment than to perform great work on a doomed initiative or start sifting for insights without a performance target. 4. Conduct an underground pilot. If the initial results fall short, that’s part of the overall discovery process. Shift and cycle again. If they exceed, then market to leadership and expand. 5. Ongoing strategic oversight. Seek the guidance of a seasoned mentor. This consultant will have the experience to anticipate hurdles, overcome elusive pitfalls and provide a low-risk/ high-reward roadmap to greater returns in a shorter time frame. Without a formal and comprehensive assessment performed by a senior strategic analytic consultant, organizations will continue to perform analysis for the sake of analysis. The results of this practice will uncover some discoveries of interest that rarely align with business objectives or translate to impact. Instead, goal-directed analysis driven by a methodical assessment and tailored project design lifts a specific business 38 | a n a ly t i c s - m a g a z i n e . o r g objective by a measurable margin. Of course, this is what translates well for leadership and puts data productively to work, whether big or small. ❙ Eric A. King is the president and founder of The Modeling Agency, LLC, an advanced analytics training and consulting company providing strategic guidance and impactful results for the data-rich yet information-poor. King is a copresenter in a monthly live, interactive analytics webinar entitled “Data Mining: Failure to Launch.” He may be reached at (281) 667-4200 x210 or eric@the-modeling-agency.com. Acknowledgements The author thanks Carla Gentry of Analytical Solution for granting permission to use a slight variation of a fantastic blog phrase as the title of this article. Also, cheers to Professor Dan Ariely of Duke University for permission to quote his hilariously accurate teenage sex analogy for big data. Gratitude is extended to the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and Tom Davenport to reference Analytics 3.0 and related IIA material in this article and TMA courseware with attribution. And finally, a gracious nod to Sandra Hendren, senior consultant at The Modeling Agency, for her review and brilliant edits. REFERENCES 1. Gartner, Inc., “Hype Cycles 2013 Research Report,” Gartner Technology Research, 2013 (https://www.gartner.com/doc/2571624). 2. Thomas H. Davenport. “Analytics 3.0,” Harvard Business Review (http://hbr.org/2013/12/ analytics-30), December 2013. Subscribe to Analytics It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s FREE! Just visit: http://analytics.informs.org/ w w w. i n f o r m s . o r g