Predicting a start

With all the media attention advanced analytics has been getting as the mantra of success for businesses in the future one thing is now for sure that awareness has increased in leaps and bounds over the past 18 months. Managers within the enterprise are talking about big data and advanced analytics with a degree of knowledge that was lacking 5 quarters ago.

We know that big data and advanced analytics is an opportunity that we can’t miss but we just don’t know how to go about it – where do we start? And how do we start? Are questions that many managers keep asking themselves and to be honest there just does not seem to be some kind of a scientific approach available to answer these questions. Frankly speaking I am not sure if there can ever be a scientific approach to answer this question or should there ever be one in the first place.

The fact is that everybody feels advanced analytics is an extension of Information Technology. This might be due the fact that the companies talking about it the most are software product companies. It is necessary for enterprise to know the difference because if they don’t get it right the first time they might lose a good part of their initial investment and the management might lose interest which could be worse.
To start with advanced analytics is not a onetime thing like a software product implementation after which you only focus on support, maintenance, enhancements and upgrades, advanced analytics is a journey that an organisation takes on like an R&D division that continuously looks into the future churning out new products for the enterprise.

Starting the journey of advanced analytics is a business decision and not a technology decision akin to the CEO of an enterprise taking a decision to automate and integrate all the functions of an enterprise to enable better management, control and therefore improved efficiencies. It is a decision to change the way by which business needs to be done. Selecting an ERP product is then a technology decision which follows the larger business decision.
The beauty of advanced analytics is that unlike an ERP implementation one can start small with a small investment and then slowly scale ensuring that the fruits of investments are borne on the way itself rather than at the end. In my opinion start with a pilot demonstrate success get a buy in from the management and then steam roll. If any enterprise feels that it is not ready then they have just not understood the concept.