“To everything there is a season.” The last time I heard these words from Ecclesiastes was in the context of my late father-in-law’s WWII Navy veterans group, which had to shut down its activities in 2010 as its last surviving members began to join their shipmates lost during the war itself. Nothing quite so dramatic for me, but the Value Alley has now enjoyed six of those seasons and the time has come for it, and me, to move on.
As I mentioned last time, I’m not going far – more like changing the channel than changing my address. For the foreseeable future I’ll be found over at SAS Voices, cranking out just as many marvelous meditations, inspirational insights and brilliant baloney as before (My first post is already up: "Lifelong learning and analytics").
When asked why I chose to pursue this blogging endeavor, I answer with two reasons. The first was to use the blog as a safe place to try out new ideas and get comments and feedback, before committing them to more permanent status such as in a white paper or customer presentation. A place I could make mistakes and learn from them. As I tell my colleagues considering getting into the blogging business, “It’s just a blog!”
And I have learned. A lot. From many. I thank you all. I look back at some of my early stuff and just cringe, wishing I could delete it permanently, unfortunately not something the Internet permits. More often, though, my opinions and approaches have evolved incrementally. In fact, if over the course of six years they hadn’t, then something’s seriously wrong with my ego and my ability to adapt and grow.
The second and primary purpose of the blog, was, as today’s title says, to “yell analytics in a crowded theater”. Six years ago both myself and the market were still waking up to analytics. Data hadn’t gotten all that big yet, and the IoT was still mostly just the “I” part. My primary audience was the Office of Finance, where building a spreadsheet qualified as doing analytics. The business ops side was a bit more advanced, but as I was to discover, certain no-brainers like inventory and logistics optimization were still not mainstream. The Value Alley was designed to build analytic awareness - and in my case, simultaneously emphasize the value.
How quickly things change. Lately, when I chair a conference, attend a trade show or speak with prospects, I’ve noticed that the question asked has shifted dramatically from, “What can analytics do for me?”, to “How do I get started?” BI and analytics implementations are now the number three priority for CIOs, behind only cybersecurity and ERP.
There’s no need to yell any longer - the theater has cleared out. But they’ve not gone home, they’ve gone to work - to work on analytics.