David Schmitt

First Comes Clarity, Then Come the Tools & Data

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BethSchultz
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Re: first step
BethSchultz   2/8/2013 11:21:08 AM
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Communicate and collaborate? Easier said than done, obviously, as this has been a mantra for years ...

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: first step
Noreen Seebacher   2/8/2013 7:26:44 AM
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I agree Cordell - in many corporations there is still a disconnect between the business and IT. How can they better align goals?

BethSchultz
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Re: first step
BethSchultz   2/7/2013 5:05:24 PM
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And one that's desparately needed, and long overdue. I think self-service has its place but the deeper a company gets into analytics the less self-service has a place, I think.

Cordell
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Re: first step
Cordell   2/7/2013 10:47:00 AM
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There's plenty of blame to go around and you've hit on a key problem - neither spends much time thinking about analytics.  Now before everyone gets excited let me explain.  IT doens't spend a lot of time thinking about capabilities until their asked to do analytic work that requires something new.  Business doesn't think a lot about IT that could bring them new capability (they've got a business to run).  There's an ongoing problem of the business analytics thinking they can never get what they need into the IT queue.  This is why we're seeing so many self service IT products in the marketplace.  We need to see a melding of IT and business and not think of them as two seperate entities.  That's a different mindset.

BethSchultz
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Re: first step
BethSchultz   2/7/2013 8:18:16 AM
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Interesting perspective on that mindset Cordell. Where you see that mindset would you say it emanates from IT or the business, or both, mostly?

Cordell
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Re: first step
Cordell   2/7/2013 1:47:36 AM
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No you are correct. That's the other choice. Its just that few organizations have that capability. And many don't have the right mindset. They tend to think big means slow because that's their experience.

BethSchultz
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Re: first step
BethSchultz   2/7/2013 12:25:11 AM
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But Cordell, isn't the goal/advantage of high-end, high-powered analytics (I'm thinking of in-memory or in-database analytics, for example) that you can cycle through iterations quickly? This is one of the advantages that SAS (this site's sponsor), for example, talks about with its Visual Analytics offering, I believe -- sitting down with the business, selecting variables, running the analytics, delivering the visual, and then selecting different variables and repeat. All super fast. Or aren't we thinking about "iteration cycle" in the same way? 

Cordell
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Re: first step
Cordell   2/6/2013 5:14:17 PM
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I agree David that this is about reducing risk - specifically operational risk.  You have two choices, you can either achieve clarity, beginning with the end in mind so to speak, or you can work in environment where making mistakes has a reduced cost.  For those that grew up with Agile development it's harder to step back and focus on design.  They'd rather build, see if it worked, build again.  That's fine if the iterations cycles are cheap and quick and impact of errors isn't great.  Unfortunately I don't find too many places like that - especially with large datasets and high powered analytics.  Iterations are long and decisions made on faulty assumptions are costly.

BethSchultz
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A nod to community
BethSchultz   2/6/2013 3:39:23 PM
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Hi David, thanks for pointing out the discussion your last post generated among All Analytics community members! That's what we're all about as a community site -- so here's to everybody reading, keep up the commenting! We love to hear from you.  

David Schmitt
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Re: first step
David Schmitt   2/6/2013 3:28:07 PM
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Phil, I think certainty is perfection in another form. And as I've long stated, Perfection is evil! 

I don't think certainty is the goal. In a prior post, I wrote that all decisions are gut-based. Every decision involves some amount of gray area. Analytics helps by reducing the amount of gray, but I don't think it ever completely eliminates it.

But you do want to minimize risk. My next post will have some ideas about how to engage your decision makers to help reduce the risk that what you produce for them will be valuable to them. Stay tuned!

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