Connolly Consultants LLC was formed with a vision of bringing the power of prediction to everyone, using their data to do it. To help organizations with an interest in “Analytics” figure out how they can get started (right) and get value. To ultimately give them a way to spend less and get more of the business results they want, whether it’s growing the top line or optimizing overhead costs. To read a brief summary of the benefits of Analytics, click here.
As the founder, I know from my many years in IT and working in large organizations there would be a lot more to being successful with Analytics than just buying software tools and treating the investment like another IT project.
Elements of a Good Start
Assuming you have an awareness or interest in what Analytics can do for your organization, what needs to be taken into account to get started right? I believe there are 4 key focus areas:
- Business Context – Alignment with strategy and focusing on solving a material problem is fundamental; otherwise, why do anything? Without a problem to solve and a question to ask that matters, you spend a lot of money preparing and looking through data without a clear business objective.
- Data, Tools and Talent – Building out your “data factory” is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success.
- Change Management – Not managing scope change, but rather proactively planning for and engaging the people in your organization who will be directly impacted by the introduction of Analytics to the jobs they do and the way they work. I learned this lesson the hard way with complex, enterprise IT projects. It’s why I made the investment to become certified in Change Enablement using the Prosci framework.
- Test and Learn – To maximize your success with Analytics, embracing a culture of “Test and Learn” is vital. This idea is a key concept of the “Lean Startup”, and applies to organizations of any size that are either startups or established businesses.
The take home message: you cannot just go buy an “analytics tool” and expect to succeed.
When all four focus areas are incorporated into your plan for getting started, you are ready to be successful.
Cost, Risk and Complexity
Finally, “Getting Started” does not need to be a big, complex, expensive and risky endeavor. You can start from wherever you are:
- Learning how to use Excel with Power Query and Power Pivot to incorporate more data sources, both internal and external to your organization, and provide a greater variety of data that allow new questions to be asked and new insights to be discovered.
- Creating interactive, collaborative dashboards with modern data visualization components in tools like Microsoft Power BI or Tableau, allowing you to slice-and-dice your way through multiple questions using a single tool to do so.
- Using algorithms and the methods of data science to discover complex, hidden patterns in your data to predict future outcomes like customers likely to defect, employees likely to resign, or products likely to be purchased when recommended.
There’s a starting point for any small to midsized business, or an organization within a larger firm, to “Get Started with Analytics” and get value when partnered with Connolly Consultants LLC.
About Gene Connolly
- Experience working in complex, global corporate environments for nearly 15 years that is available to small and midsized business.
- Knowledge gained by making a daily investment of time analyzing products, services, market trends and use cases for making your data a productive asset for you.
- Resources from a wide a growing network of professionals in complementary disciplines as your need for expertise broadens.
- Tools to get the job done right, from Excel to Power BI and R.
- Skills you need to find in more than just one competency:
Gene is a California native and a long-time resident of Colorado, after living nine years in the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!). Gene enjoys investing, running 10K races and taking long road trips around the US. He is married and has two children.
You can read more about Gene’s professional background on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/ccllc.
You can see Gene’s resume here.