Five Common Data Analytics Questions and the Root Problems They Reveal

After 20 years of helping clients in every industry solve diverse and intricate problems, we know that in a complex area like data analytics, some questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Often, questions are symptoms indicating missing data capabilities or strategy. It pays to get down to root causes. Here we translate five common questions, digging down to uncover a why before addressing a how.



What Clients Ask

"How do we become data-driven?"

The root problem to solve: We want to make more accurate, timely, and proactive business decisions.

Data-driven is a common phrase that can mean several different things. Many businesses asking this question are seeking powerful decisions made with input from data. Improving decision-making starts with culture and strategy. A data strategy that clarifies the path forward combined with executive sponsorship and companywide buy-in builds a culture that values data, trusts data, and turns to it first for answers.

Once the foundation is set, data visualization platforms let you connect data to meaning and easily identify trends, gaps, and opportunities. A partner with data visualization expertise can help you choose the best platform for your organization and provide training to get you over the learning curve.

Data capabilities to explore:

What Clients Ask

"How do we get our systems to talk to each other and share data?"

The root problem to solve: Our teams have had to find some creative, frustrating, and time-consuming workarounds to overcome technology limitations.

Situations like this make integrating data to create reports nightmarish. The likelihood of errors introduced in the process diminishes value—along with trust in the data. If you’re thinking that there has to be a better way, you’re correct, and a data expert can help.

Identifying all possible data paths from entry points to storage and access—M&As make this far more complex—lays the foundation for an interoperability solution. You’ll also need to consider how quickly your data is going to multiply.

Data Capabilities to explore:

What Clients Ask

"Should we build our own data analytics team?"

The root problem to solve: We’re starting to get results from our analytics, and the organization would like more.

It’s natural to ask this question when your company is beginning to reap big benefits from a strong analytics approach. And the answer is different for every organization. The question to ask is whether you have the resources—funds, time, and experience—to hire and manage an in-house team of data experts. Even a solid in-house team might not have expertise in all areas, and many organizations find it’s more cost-effective and easier to outsource this important work.

Data Capabilities to explore:

What Clients Ask

"Are we using your data to it's full advantage?"

The root problem to solve: We’re just not sure we’re doing the right things, and whether we can really trust our data or systems.

Often, people are concerned about what they don’t know and are really just asking for their analytics processes to be validated. Data analytics is so complex, it’s reassuring to have someone confirm that you’re in full compliance with new governmental regulations and aren’t leaving money on the table.

The answers lie in perspective and strategy—and, in the case of process validation, data quality and governance. Consider what data points may be missing, examine trends, and seek explanations for outliers; visual analytics can bring new insights to light. A strategic data assessment will help stakeholders throughout the organization define data needs.

Data Capabilities to explore:

What Clients Ask

"Leadership told us to monetize your data—how do we do that?"

The root problem to solve: We know we have valuable data but aren’t sure how to fully leverage it and maximize its value.

Data is valuable, but without a clear strategy it can also demand significant time and funding. You absolutely want to get the most you can from it. Data monetization is popular and can work, but it may not be the only way to maximize value, and a data expert can provide ideas and guidance.

Analyze your data to better understand what customers and stakeholders need and adjust how you’re providing that— for example, creating an interactive dashboard of the customer’s activity with your digital product embedded in their client portal.

Data Capabilities to explore:

Data doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Every day, we help clients find their way to data strategy that takes them further than they’d thought possible.

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