Successful delivery requires both a strategic plan and a tactical plan. Although business analytics initiatives have many similarities to other disciplines, there are a few key differences that when successfully managed increase the probability of successful delivery. These are:

  • The temptation to rely on ability rather than management
  • A failure to acknowledge the high degree of uncertainty involved in business analytics
  • Ignoring the importance of turning discovery processes into operational processes

Often, analytics teams are highly skilled. Because of this, it is tempting to allow team members to operate largely independently with relatively little oversight. Although this can work, it is very easy for teams to become far too focused on their daily activities at the expense of what they are trying to deliver. Because of their background and ability, analysts will often find a multitude of ways to solve the issues they come across. This is missing the forest for the trees; although they are keeping the project moving, they may not always realize that deadlines are slipping. This may introduce significant delays and, in the absence of management supervision, they may believe that there are no problems with the project. Even though it might be a bit delayed, things are still moving. Keeping an eye on the overall delivery plan is critical if delays are to be avoided.

Analysts often need to deal with a high degree of uncertainty. At an analytical level, almost every ...

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