Business plan

Implementing an analytical business plan requires commitment

The analytical approach can be intimidating for businesses of any size and the stakes are often high. Collecting data is one thing, but extracting useful and actionable information from it can be a tedious next step.

Implementing a data analytics business plan, even with patience and broad commitment, can still prove difficult to tackle if the proper foundation is not laid.

Businesses need to adapt and take the right approach with data before an analytics plan can be used effectively. As with most changes and major projects, it is the amount of focus and effort put into a data analysis business plan that can determine its success.

Lay the foundation

A first step that companies should take before deploying a business analysis plan is to ensure that they have the right architecture. There needs to be clarity and communication, as well as a clear purpose throughout the business.

“Clarity on what you’re trying to do means you know what your goals are,” said Ash Munshi, CEO of Pepperdata, a California-based software company. “It’s invaluable for communicating within your business, because goals help teams be on the same page, provide a framework for decision-making, and help you measure your progress along the way. “

Starting a data analytics business plan requires identifying where real business value can be created. From there, companies can start to set realistic goals. This should also be done in conjunction with the assessment of data already collected.

Once your business has clear communication and defined goals, making sure you have high-quality data is the next step.

“Companies that develop robust data and analytics strategies are the ones that will succeed and excel in the data-driven world,” said Munshi. “Operational data about your infrastructure and analytics applications is also critically important to ensuring that these systems are performing optimally. “

To facilitate this data assessment, there needs to be a lot of communication between IT departments and other groups within the company.

“IT groups need to be directly and tightly connected to data business owners,” said Steve Tycast, director of data and analytics at AIM Consulting Minneapolis. “Connected IT teams are a critical and often weak relationship in many organizations today.”

Pillars supporting the plan

The only way to find the right answers is to ask the right questions. To further ensure that your data analytics business plan is aimed at an achievable goal, your company should work with its employees or external companies to create queries and reports that can identify their business needs.

Once your needs have been identified, your objectives defined and communication improved, the data analysis business plan can be implemented.

“There are basically three pillars to successfully implementing an analytical business plan,” Tycast said. “Leadership, Organizational Readiness, and Governance.”

The three main qualities of a solid business plan in data analysis.

Leadership comes down to sponsorship of management and involvement in the plan with a commitment to see it through. They must create a culture that accepts this plan and commit to investing sufficient time and resources.

To get the most from their data, companies need to understand their organizational maturity from both a business and technology perspective, Tycast said. For the former, organizations need to take a critical look at their current processes and map how data is used throughout the lifecycle. For these, an organization needs to assess its current IT systems and applications and align its processes with those of the business.

When it comes to governance, proper planning and regular review of a data analysis plan are essential.

“Each analytics project is a journey, not a destination, and therefore requires ongoing care and attention to ensure that you are receiving the maximum amount of information and value from your data,” Tycast said.

Being adaptable can be the difference between success and failure.

Foster the right skills

The demands on businesses only increase as technology advances, and it can be intimidating to get into analytics.

For businesses to get the most from their analytics plans, their data must be their most strategic asset. Helping with this data are the right employees for the job. It is critically important for companies looking to get the most out of an analytics plan to invest in developing the skills they need in their employees to make their investments.

“Ideally, the technology and skills / trainings are developed together,” Munshi said. “Recruiting the right talent is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage. “

To take full advantage of a business analysis plan, a business must either develop talent from within or acquire employees with the skills to analyze and learn from the data collected by the business.

“The rapid pace of technological change, coupled with the business need for faster results and increased flexibility, can overwhelm any organization,” Tycast said. “It’s critical to strike the right balance between business users and technical professionals, where we often see success with dedicated technical resources who sit within business units and can represent business needs with IT. “

With clear communication and goals, along with proper engagement and training, a data analytics business plan can be successfully deployed. Missing even one part of this larger picture can jeopardize its success.

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