5 reasons to not procrastinate on analytics

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The growth of companies adopting analytical solutions is continuing to grow quickly and can be evidenced by offerings in self-serve BI capabilities, cloud based solution, pay per go models, ability to get analytics on any device, and the list continues.  Business Intelligence is becoming common place and extremely affordable, in part because of the self-serve aspect of the tools now in the market.  If you are not using analytics in your business, you are quickly becoming disadvantaged.

Let’s look at 5 typical reasons given for procrastinating on analytics and why they are no longer good reasons for delaying.

1.You are looking for a canned solution handed to you that will provide you with the analytics and KPIs you need to run your business. The problem with a canned solution and KPIs is that it isn’t designed for the uniqueness of your business.  Every business is unique.  This is how we compete with others in our space.  Therefore we need a solution that allows us to measure and analyze our unique key metrics to allow us to ensure we are succeeding on our own strategy.

2.You have so many business units, divisions or departments with everyone having different needs that it is too large of a project to fund or accomplish.  This may be the case, but the key to implementing a massive project is to break it into smaller, manageable projects.  Take the Enterprise wide analytics project and break it down.  Pick a division, department, region, etc. that would really benefit from the solution and start there.  Once the analytics is successful there it will be easier to roll out to others.

3.You have data in different spots and different sources and you don’t know how to bring this all together.  There are tools available, like Qlik which allow you to bring this data together without having to get into expensive data warehouse projects.

4.You don’t have all of the data to support what you would like to measure.  Don’t feel like you are alone in this.  As you create new strategies for your business, it is common that you won’t have historical data to support the new metrics that you have to track.  Because they are new strategic initiatives.  Start with what data you have and it may be possible to use proxies for a period of time while you determine the required data, its sources and begin collecting it.

5.You want the solution to be perfect or believe that it needs to be.  It is great to strive for perfection but that shouldn’t stop you from working with analytics now.  In order to improve you have to understand where you are today and create a plan.  Analytics are key in that understanding.  Allow analytics to evolve as you evolve on your path towards greater success.

The bottom line is, don’t procrastinate.  Begin working with what you have and get value from it.  As you gain value, you will be able to undertake new initiatives to get what you need to go to the next level.  You will find that as you learn more about your data and operations and about the metrics you use your needs will continue to evolve.