How to Rescue Your Data Analytics Program from Failure

(Image: Dusit/Shutterstock)

(Image: Dusit/Shutterstock)

Everybody knows that analytics programs can be game-changing for business. That's why so many companies are investing in data-centric solutions and services. But is your analytics program on the right track, or is that investment your organization made going to waste? Does your program yield actionable results?

If not, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Meta Brown, a statistician, engineer, and president of the consultancy A4A Brown, has spent years in the field, helping organizations with their analytics programs, and she has some real-world experience and best practices to share with attendees of her Interop ITX session, What IT Needs to Know About Analytics Process.

In her session she'll share the secrets behind why some analytics programs fail and why others succeed.

The biggest mistake that organizations make when investing in analytics? Not starting with a plan to succeed. Instead, many organizations start with a vague idea about analytics being important and strategic.

[Read the full article with Meta Brown's tips for success at InformationWeek.]

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: Vision
  • 4/17/2017 7:53:11 AM

Getting to that "vision" may be easier said than done and that may be the reason lots of firms may get aboard the analytics wagon but fail to figure out just where they want to go and how to arrive there safely. Avoiding that will certainly be something important to consider on the journey.

taking a long-term approach
  • 4/12/2017 12:52:37 PM

Agreed. Just because you invest in it as a checklist item doesn't mean that you've spent the time to think through how to implement it for real value. As we all have trained ourselves to think in 140 characters and quarterly reports, it's important to remember that these are just snapshots in time. Real results require a more comprehensive approach.

Re: Vision
  • 4/11/2017 6:28:28 PM

Thinking is the hard part, but it's required.

Too often, someone will initiate an analytics effort without having a vision of what they want to do with it. You may hear "All of our competitors are using analytics now." and that's probably true.

But without a vision of what we actually want to do, it becomes difficult to use the new tools well. The executive office won't provide the needed support. Or the database won't be adequately scrubbed. Or different functions will have wildly disparate aims and mostly work against each other.

Re: Vision
  • 4/11/2017 9:37:42 AM

@PC. Good point about "vision". Anyone can look at where there are weaknesses in a system/process/company and say there should be ways to solve the apparent problems. To me "vision" is about identifying where opportunities or new problems might be a year or five years from now. The difference is between looking at today's scenario and looking at what is likely to happen down the road.


  • 4/10/2017 11:09:16 AM

I agree with Meta. Having a vision for how to use Analytics is key and it's surprising how often this is overlooked. 

Without a vision - a simple answer to the question: What is it we plan to do with these tools? It's no wonder that an analytics effort might flounder.