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The Value of Business Analytics: Identifying the Path to Profitability by Evan Stubbs

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PRACTICAL EXAMPLE: A FORECASTING MODEL FOR PLANNING

One of the best examples I have dealt with that highlighted the importance of a communication strategy involved a project to develop a planning framework for a government department. In the interests of building some quantitative measures by which different policies could be objectively compared, the project sponsor was keen to develop a what-if model that would allow policymakers to change various parameters under different assumptions and consider the resulting outcomes. Although it would have been impossible for the model to provide accurate predictions, the intention was to create a model flexible and broad enough to stimulate discussion under a common framework.

Despite these good intentions, it had all the hallmarks of a complex and high-risk project. There was a:

  • Lack of clarity around objectives or success criteria
  • Low level of understanding around the value of analytics generally
  • General lack of visibility in the broader department of the project and its intentions

However, despite these challenges, there was a clear desire by the department to be more structured and considered in their approach to policy. By effectively developing and executing a broad-based communication strategy and communicating the value of the project to a wide variety of stakeholders, we successfully achieved buy-in into “doing things differently.”

Our first objective was to separate the model development activities from the communication plan and ...

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