Big Data, Analytics and Defining Strategy

Today, a majority of companies are defining and building internal analytic platforms without a defined strategy.  Instead, tactics appear scattered throughout organizations as opposed to the more rigorous process most large-scale initiatives have followed in the past.  The result is duplicated efforts, investment in disparate technologies, silos of ungoverned data, issues with data quality and many other enterprise data management concerns.  These complications cause failed projects or initiatives that do not justify the investment.

Our team has been in the consulting industry for the last 20 years, primarily focused on Hyperion or Oracle EPM as we know it today.  Prior to consulting, many of us were IT professionals working on data warehouse solutions, large ERP implementations and various other IT related tasks.

As we reflect on the last two plus decades of work in consulting and IT, the solutions implemented were focused initiatives by organizations with a clear, concise strategy.  Data warehouse solutions provided improved and advanced reporting capabilities.  ERP implementations had a common goal for the entire organization.  Hyperion projects were a pointed solution to improve consolidations, enhance budget/forecasting, and provide additional reporting.  In most cases, these initiatives were part of an organization’s overall strategy.  They shared a common goal to improve operational efficiency, enhance decision making, provide better customer service or various other business improvement reasons.

Over the last several years, we have been researching the hype over Big Data and Analytics.  At first, it was all about data and how companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, Netflix, Google and others were leveraging their data to disrupt markets and gain a competitive advantage.  Now, it’s all about advanced analytics, machine learning, AI algorithms, data scientists and finding unicorns.

Our combined experience in consulting has provided us with a unique opportunity.  We have worked with more than 50 different companies, from mid-size hundred million-dollar companies to global conglomerates in the fortune 25.  This translates to working across various industries of size and breadth, providing the opportunity to recognize trends.  We are observing various companies working on Big Data and Analytics projects without a clear, concise strategy.  There are multiple projects or POC’s in flight, across different functional areas of the business.  Some have hired consulting companies, others are executing with internal resources on a part-time basis (while still executing their full-time day jobs).  New tools, technologies and packaged applications are flooding the market with great sales pitches and very cool demo features that excite end users.  The market conditions and supporting technologies are moving fast.  In the current era of endless daily updates across social media outlets pushing information about this topic, companies are feeling pressure to do something, or be left behind.  These factors are causing companies to take action without clearly defining the path.  Now is the time for focused efforts, which start with taking a step back to define a strategy.

PARC has developed an analytics strategy and related service offering from the ground up.  The intent is to provide a robust offering that doesn’t only focus on a pointed solution, architecture, application or group of technologies.  We believe the first step is to assist an organization with developing and clearly defining their analytics strategy.  This strategy needs to encompass more than technologies, it should align with the organizations long term direction and include the overall impact across the entire organization.  This would include people, existing processes, competitive landscape and corporate culture related to becoming a data driven organization.

Data Analytics Partner

Leave a Reply