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The biggest roadblock to building your data analytics roadmap

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We see this time and time again, organisations knowing that they need to do something about data & AI. So they ambitiously embark on some projects that solve a specific problem at the time. Everyone is happy when the project gets delivered on time and within budget. But generally the projects are very short term focused in nature, so they can ‘tick the box’.

Following on from this, is sort of like a bad new years eve hang over, where you just don’t feel right. You may have achieved your KPI’s and your boss is all pleased, but months later problems come back to haunt you and the original project you set out to deliver now has to be scrapped.

In my career within the Data Analytics and AI arena this is only too common. The reason why you have this sickly feeling after a seemly worthwhile project makes you feel this way is that you never really thought through the ‘big picture’ and developed a well thought out roadmap. You were singly focused on delivering a ‘proof of concept’ or project that you deemed ‘low hanging fruit’.

Building out a proper data analytics roadmap will help you answer the question of ‘Why’. At the end of the day, you need data, analysis and tools to help you make decisions. But some decisions aren’t worth investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions to build if they don’t help you to make better decisions.

I recently was involved in a project to build a HR Dashboard to help an organisation gain better insights around its people metrics. Many weeks were spent brainstorming different metric types, charts and ways to represent the data. This was rather than first focusing on the ‘why’. Once the customer actually had a really good think about this and answered the ‘why’, everything seemed to come together and we had firm requirements.

Once we had the ‘why’ all of a sudden the roadmap seemed to come together. It was then easy to work out the next steps, as we understood the direction we want to go. Whilst this may sound like a simple concept, it is extremely difficult to get to this idea flowing quickly in practice.

That is where working with an experienced practitioner can dramatically increase your chances of a successful outcome and a long-term programme or solutions that delivers returns for your organisation. Sometimes we are so blind sighted in our day-to-day noise, that it is nearly impossible to take a step back and see things from a different perspective.

Imagine how many millions of dollars we would save if we just got things right the first time round. It really does pay to invest up front and build out your roadmap with a very clear purpose.

This article was originally published in LinkedIn on 2 August 2018. Read the original article here.

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