Monday, June 22, 2015

CMOs: Three Major Roadblocks to Insights


Data is the raw material for developing insights. If the complete data is not available to insights team then you can’t expect the insights to be very valuable. Insights teams will make the best out of what they have available but you will get far better insights if you spend little time with them to understand what they need and help them with these for major roadblocks.
  1. Data Sources and Collection – Insights team has identified the data sources required for them to provide great insights, the data is all there either available internally or externally. The big challenges comes when the data teams actually start to figure out how the data will be collected. For internal data sources the organizational barriers are the biggest ones that prevent one team for getting access to the data that other team owns. Your team will need your help in navigating those barriers and help the free flow of the data. If external data sources are on their list then your help will be needed to provide appropriate funding and legal clearance needed to get those data pieces.
  2. Data Storage – Storage per GB/TB is cheap and will continue to be cheaper but with that the amount of data will continue to go up (see the graph below) All in all, you will end up either spending a lot of money or will need to clear out the data repository to keep cost in check. Clearing the data means data gaps will emerge causing the gaps in Insights. For example, if all your data team can store is six months’ worth of data then you will be missing out on yearly trends, If all they can store for 1 year then you will be missing out on multi-year trends etc. Your team will need your support in ensuring that you have appropriate budgets approved to ensure that your team can store the required amount for their analysis.
  1. Data Access – Having all the data collected and stored is half the battle, other half is making sure that the data is accessible by the insights team. Majority of the time the data will be stored in the cloud, Hadoop etc but is not easily available to the analysts who will need it for their analysis. In order to make any sense of the data, the insights team needs to have easy access to the data, not just in little chunks but to the whole set. You analysts might not be well versed with database technologies to make proper connection. They need an easy way to either connect their analysis tool e.g. Tableau, Excel etc. to the data sources so they can pull the required data to conduct analysis. They will need your help in pushing the other teams to make data accessible to them.
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