Analytics, Is It Time to Grow Up?

How grown up is your analytics? Andrew our MD presented last week at the Festival of Marketing. His main presentation was about Analytics maturity and what you need to reach the optimum level to get absolute business benefit. Maturity graphs seem to be a trend at the moment and we really wanted to give an honest account of best practice rather than having a sort of vanity graph that looks like a simple process or box ticking exercise but is in actual fact unrealistic.  Our maturity graph shows the recipe for business success rather than a list of services that you should buy, it’s not linear or standard.
Here is a recap of 5 main points and if you want to see the full presentation you can download it at the bottom of this blog as a PDF.
If you’re more of a slide share kind of person you can go here.

1 One size does not fit all.

Your starting point with your data is always what do you want to know and achieve? Your business and Industry will have different requirements across the board than another sort of business and industry. Let’s put it this way: all businesses have different components or ingredients. Those ingredients will not bake you the same cake.

Here is an example of a typical maturity model, you may be familiar with ?……

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And here is ours

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2 Avoid the hype. A speed, B scale and C shiny

I want real time data! I want it now! I want it fast!….

Think about it, is a really nice home cooked meal worth waiting for and do those burgers in fast food joints ever look like the picture above the counter? Think about the worst decision that you ever made? Was it made rashly and think about your more considered choices. Aim for automation but you still need a human to interpret the data. Scale.
More! More! More! Is better It doesn’t matter how much data you have but it must have relevancy, accuracy and coverage in order to get you results. Big data is unstructured and structure is a critical success factor.
Next beware the shiny and new. There are a lot of buzzwords flying about the analytics world at the moment. Just because they exist doesn’t mean they are right for the job. A person with knowledge of statistics may serve you well.
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3 It’s all about balance,

Analytics maturity is two-dimensional and a constant trade-off between sophistication and availability of data and the capacity to make effective decisions. You may have invested heavily in capturing your data but have a lack of resource or understanding of how the data flows. Conversely you may not have good data and you can’t make the right decisions data to feed the analytics process.
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4 People, Tech and process

There is a resourcing debate going on at the moment. How much should you invest in the three main areas? What is the best balance to achieve analytics Nirvana?  And while it is true you need all three, we think it’s better to ask not how much but what is right; the best process, the right people and right software for the task. It is crucial to have the correct framework in order to achieve ROI. In terms of the skills. Measurement, data flows and databases needs to be designed, not hacked together. Understanding the business model is as important as understanding a statistical model. Objective setting is 20% of the time but 80% of the importance of most analytics projects.

5  And Finally….

So to repeat analytics maturity isn’t one size fits all. Analysis is an adventure not a neat magical path. It is a matter of finesse and having a good tour guide. Experience is vital. Technology selection, strategy and analysis evolve and move.
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Download the full presentation Lynchpin – Analytics (Time to Grow Up)