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Archive for April, 2013

Where is your data hiding?

When attempting to generate value from data, many organisations intuitively  turn to areas of their business that produce lots of it. However, these data rich areas are not necessarily where one should look for valuable insights.

A good rule of thumb to follow when attempting to build an analytical capability within an organisation is to constantly ask oneself: “What is the purpose of establishing this particular process?”. If the answer to the questions happens to be “to analyse data” or “to deliver value, but delivery mechanism is not defined”, then it is likely that your efforts fell prey to a common mistake. Data analysis capabilities do not bring value! A detailed business plan, with well-defined purpose, and data analysis, which is integrated into the decision-making processes of the organisation, is what creates value. Blindly analysing data without a purpose, in hopes of finding much-needed insight is a waste of resources. And this brings up a second question: “What data should be analysed?”.

All businesses collect data and large amounts of it. However, it is a logical fallacy to think that the area with the most data will produce the most insight. Additionally, integrating external data into business operations may prove to be a significant return on investment. Which data pool we select depends entirely on what purpose we want to achieve. In some cases, acquiring professional strategic advice is the key to success in data analytics efforts.

~Alexey Mitko

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