Why do analytic projects fail to get implemented?


In getting ready for the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operation Research next week in Chicago, I caught up with Jodi Blomberg, a Technical Architect at SAS, to hear more about the paper she's presenting on April 11th. Here's a little preview of what Jodi has to share.

For all of the excitement and buzz about analytics, analytics projects have a less than impressive success rate. This is rarely due to the lack of good models or good analytics. It is more often about a failure to implement the results of the analytic models- even when the models themselves are statistically valid and contain good actionable information.  For nearly every analytics project, the goal is the same: to provide information that will change the way someone does their job or makes decisions related to their job. While the average data mining analyst or project lead cannot always insure that the organization is committed to changing the workplace, they can do better at setting up their model for a successful implementation.

Often, projects with good actionable results fail or just fail to be used because the results were not clearly defined before starting the project. If no one knows what to expect, they are less likely to use the analysis. Tweaking the traditional analytic process to involve stakeholders and to increase the likelihood that the analytic models will be implemented is a good start. Getting folks to think about what happens after the results are in -- what to do with them or who might do it -- is key, and it’s better done earlier than later.

At the INFORMS conference on Business Analytics and OR, I will be giving a talk called “Starting at the End: Letting Results Drive the Analytic Process” on Monday, April 11th, 3:40-4:30 PM. The talk will focus on how to be “results oriented” in your approach to data mining.

I will discuss both how to define success and how to measure it, the first steps to achieving it. I will also give examples, including the highlights of my favorite mistakes – of which there seem to be many!I hope my experiences can give attendees some insights on real world obstacles to analytic modeling and its implementation.

Thanks to Jodi for taking the time to give us a preview! I look forward to seeing you at INFORMS next week! Readers - if you have questions or if there's a topic you'd like to learn more about related to Operations Research or Business Analytics, please let us know!


About Author

Kristine Vick

Principal Marketing Specialist

Kristine is an energetic, innovative, results focused marketing practitioner. She strives to share great analytical stories and successes. Kristine helps others see the big picture while taking care of details and thinking of creative ways to get more done!

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