Fern Halper and I just wrapped up as hosts of the TDWI Solution Summit on Advanced Analytics. We had a great two and a half days with some wonderful case studies, a super-engaged audience and lots of intense 1:1 conversations between attendees, speakers and sponsors. To wrap up Fern and I discussed some of the themes that came up repeatedly during the event and I thought I would quickly summarize them here on the blog:
- Cross-functional teams – with analytics, operations, IT, business all represented- are critical for success in more advanced analytic projects. Don’t add folks to analytic projects after they start, build the cross-functional team at the beginning.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and how you are going to use your analytic results to improve your business. It’s easy to build analytics that can’t be used or won’t help and easy also to fail to measure so you can tell if they worked.
- Being able to explain and demonstrate the power of advanced analytics in business terms, to tell stories about the analytics and show how they translate to business value, is essential. It’s easy for advanced analytics to seem like a black box or a magic 8 ball but this will limit business engagement and undermine the trust you need for broad deployment.
- It’s a journey so plan on iterating, on experimenting, on running multiple (smaller) projects, on having failures (and learning from them) and develop a long term plan for success. Advanced analytics drive continuous improvement too so don’t plan on ever stopping.