Research

2020 ANALYTICS PREDICTIONS AND PRIORITIES

By Thomas H. Davenport, Bill Franks, Drew Smith, Robert Morison, Dec 19, 2019

Each year, the International Institute for Analytics ends the year with a look at the latest analytics trends and the most pressing analytics challenges currently facing organizations. Our predictions are based upon our day-to-day work supporting and advising analytics leaders and organizations. We take advantage of the breadth of expertise and cross-industry perspectives we encounter every day from our clients, partners, and members of the IIA expert network. This is our 10th annual look toward the upcoming year, and our annual Predictions and Priority research brief and the associated webinar have become among IIA’s most popular content of the year. This year, we’ve stuck with our approach of augmenting each of our predictions with a specific priority for leaders to focus on as they attempt to address that prediction. As a result, each priority provides specific guidance as to how to best prepare for, and adapt to, its corresponding prediction.

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Inquiry Response: Building Out Your Customer Data Program

By IIA Expert, Ahmer Inam, Dec 09, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Inquiry:

We’re charged with expanding our customer data program. We have an initial framework for the platform itself, but now we need to think about our product offerings and the skills set required so we can build out the program. Do you have any advice?

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Inquiry Response: Getting Started With a Customer Data Program

By IIA Expert, Ahmer Inam, Nov 04, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Inquiry:

We’re in the process of starting a customer data program that will include real-time data from marketing campaigns and digital activities. What is the best way to get started?

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The Fuzzy Line Between Good and Evil Data Science

By Bill Franks, Sep 12, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

The vast majority of people building analytics and data science processes have every intention of being good and ethical. As a result, most potentially unethical and evil processes arise in situations where that wasn’t the intention. The problem is typically that proper focus and governance is not in place to keep analytics and data science processes on the side of good. On top of that, what is good and what is evil isn’t nearly as clear cut as we’d wish it to be.

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Mapping an Information Economy

By Doug Mirsky, Aug 16, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Information Economies in Organizations

The data warehouse revolution began in 1991 when Bill Inmon published Building the Data Warehouse. Inmon observed, early in that book, that every organization has a naturally occurring information economy, and that most naturally occurring information economies were inefficient, duplicative and prone to produce suboptimal decisions.

This observation of Inmon’s has not gotten anywhere near the credit, or attention, it deserves. A decade’s worth of collective practice in advanced analytics should tell us that everything we know about real-world economies applies to our information economies. There is demand for information by people and functions in an organization, and there is a supply of (some of) that information. There is (some amount) of technical and procedural infrastructure – some kind of market — to bring demand and supply together in an organized way. That “market” infrastructure is often partial, fragile and in some cases ineffective. There are competitive alternatives (like cloud service providers and SaaS vendors), over- and under-regulation (various data governance models), excessive demand-side taxation (cost allocation strategies), failure to invest in infrastructure, and all other elements of economies.

When organizations are planning strategy-driven large-scale advanced analytics programs, they should begin their planning by characterizing their as-is information economy.

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Creating A Data Engineering Culture: What it is, why it’s important, and how, and how not, to build

By Jesse Anderson, Jul 31, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Why do some analytics projects succeed while so many fail? According to Gartner analyst Nick Heudecker, as many as 85% of big data projects fail. However, the ROI from the other 15% that succeed is incredibly promising. With such a clearly high barrier to competency in executing big data strategies, there remains significant opportunity for first-mover advantage for enterprises that can crack the code to improving their outcomes.

So, what can organizations do to increase their chances of big data success? Part of the answer lies in creating a data engineering culture. This is the necessary foundation underpinning a big data analytics proficiency and enables companies to outperform the competition.

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Mastering the Art & Science of Storytelling

By Brent Dykes, Jul 26, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Analytics experts love data. But just presenting raw data or even insights derived from data isn’t good enough. To create business value from data requires that analytics professionals develop skills at data storytelling. This entails telling persuasive stories, tailored to a specific audience, that combine data, narrative, and visuals effectively.

Why Storytelling?

Human beings love stories. In fact, author Philip Pullman has written, “After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need the most in the world.” And scriptwriting expert Robert McKee has said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

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Graph Analytics Use Cases

By Daniel Graham, Jul 10, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

In 1996, two computer science students — Larry and Sergei — were enthralled by the emerging internet. But finding anything on the undeveloped web was horribly difficult. Then came the “Aha!” discovery that academic web page citations (URLs) are a proxy for popularity. If many websites “like” the same web page, that page value is probably higher to researchers. So Larry and Sergei designed an algorithm called PageRank. It measured “link juice” — the strength between web pages. Google emerged from PageRank, web URLs and an advertising business model. This article explores the incredible value of “link juice.” Graph analysis turns the relational model on its side. It focuses on the network between “things” instead of the things themselves. The main strength of graphs is to measure the influence things have on each other. It also analyzes communities.

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Portland 2019 Analytics Symposium Video: Cathy Huyghe

By Cathy Huyghe, Apr 17, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Uncorking Analytics: Moving the Wine Industry Towards Data-Driven Decisions

The wine industry is thousands of years old, and has always been based on artistry, taste, love, and romance. The culture and practices of the wine industry are deeply embedded and slow to change. But as in all industries, analytics is changing the game. Wineries can now tap into new sources of data to better understand market dynamics in countries across the globe and can better understand consumer preferences along multiple dimensions. This is impacting decisions about R&D, production, and marketing.

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Portland 2019 Analytics Symposium Video: Brian T. O’Neill

By Brian O’Neill, Apr 17, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

You Built It, But They Didn’t Come: How Human-Centered Design Increases The Value of Decision Support Tools

Too often decision support tools are developed and thrust upon users who don’t get value from them. By using a design process (also termed “design thinking”), analytics tools are developed based on understanding people’s needs, goals, and attitudes. The result is tools that are used and that create significant value.

Structured, rigorous design processes have been used to produce better places, spaces, products, services, stores, and parks. Design can certainly be used to build better analytics, software, and data products.

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