Blogger: Marcus Collins
In my recent post I detailed the critical success factors for a successful analysis initiative namely:
- Having the right analysis process
- Having access to the right information
- Having the right context
- Having the ability to make decisions at the right time
- Having the right leadership
- Having the right team dynamics
- Having the right people
- Choosing the right problem
In this post I’m going to explore the “right analysis process” in more detail.
Organizations operate in a high competitive and regulated environment and so efficient and repeatable business processes are integral to an organization’s well being. This applies equally to the analysis process. The analysis process should be tailored to meet the requirements of both the organizational culture and the context of the analysis. For example, a move into or out of a market segment would require a more thorough analysis that a series of experimental what-if scenarios.
The process is shown below:
Design the analysis – is the selection of the appropriate technique or framework. For example, to identify the most balanced decision amongst candidates the trade study would be used.
Gather the data – identifying data that is relevant to the problem and determining the source of this information and, importantly, determining what information is not available. Data quality metrics are important as they allow the analyst to evaluating the impact of the quality metrics on the analysis output.
Execute and interpret – two different skills are used here. Execute requires an analytic discipline with a focus on quantitative fact and rule-based logic. Interpretation emphasizes human judgment. Both techniques should be used in this step of the process. The output of this step will either be actionable and the process will move onto the implementation stage or not actionable and the process will move back to the start and refine and/or reframe the original problem statement.
Implement – in context of business intelligence this is the implementation of business change. A key recommendation here is that the analysis is not the act of making decisions; rather it is a single factor in the justification for a decision. The actual decision will be a combination of quantitative information, qualitative information and human judgment.
Measure – the traditional IT view of measurement focuses on efficiency and cost. Within the context of the business intelligence initiative the focus should shift to measuring business value.
Continuous learning – the analysis process is iterative and key to the success of this is culture of continuous learning. Organizations should encourage a culture of learning through both successes and failures.
In a document to be published in early June and a series of TeleBriefings on June 2 and 3, Burton Group Senior Analyst Marcus Collins will explore the analysis process and each of the other critical success factors in more detail and provide guidance on how organizations can develop a roadmap for the successful deployment of a fact-based decision making culture.