How to deliver analytics projects?

About 3.5 years ago, I sat in a windowless project room that was perfect for deep thoughts. After a not-so-good project debrief, I asked myself - "How can we deliver valuable and useful analytics solution fast?"

Analytics solution includes both business analysis (i.e. trends, predictive models, network analysis, etc.) and system applications (i.e. recommendation engine, self-driving system, etc.).

Fast forward 3.5 years, here are 4 key components based on my experience in delivering 10+ analytics projects and observations of how other successful companies did it.


1) Business Thinking - value

Definition: the traditional thinking that analyzes fundamental business drivers, domain economics, and stakeholder interests.

Importance: This forces people to stay aligned to business needs and gaps in order to realize benefits in revenue increase, cost reduction, or risk mitigation

2) Design Thinking - usefulness

Definition: a framework commonly used in the design space to understand user needs.

Importance: This encourages designers to create something that people actually want to and can use in order to capture benefits intended from 1) 

3) Technical Analytics - well, we are talking about analytics

Definition: core technical knowledge in basic analysis techniques, machine learning methods, and systems (i.e. legacy applications, Big Data stack, front / back-end, etc.)

Importance: this is the most fundamental capability that allow people to design and create technically sound analytics solutions, for both business analysis and applications

4) Agile Delivery - speed

Definition: a common project management framework used in manufacturing and software development. It focuses on creating something functional fast, then iterating toward the grand vision.

Importance: this allows teams to create something that works within 2-4 weeks versus 6 month. Of course, the timing needs to scale based on complexity and experience of the team. But that's the idea. 

In the coming weeks, I will share additional posts with specific case study and personal stories to elaborate on how and why these 4 components work together.

At B.A.B, our training are designed based on this framework. Our goal is to equip new breed of talents that can help companies to succeed in their analytics aspiration.