There are seemingly endless opportunities and possibilities out there for a business rich with data to explore. So many, in fact, that the prospect of tackling data can be overwhelming. With all these creative ideas and potential destinations, the real question remains: “Where do we start?”.
Here, we take a look at some initial steps you need to take when embarking on a Data & Analytics project.
Understanding the Business
A project must have reason; it should provide the answer to a clear organisational need. Before even beginning to look at the raw data itself, understanding the business area that a project is part of is crucial to ensuring success – both in the short- and long-term.
The key is communication. Reach out to people within the business, whose processes you’re aiming to improve. Learn from them, collaborate with them and understand what they need. Aside from the obvious reliance on these business users for knowledge and guidance, creating a positive working relationship will make a project enjoyable for both parties. Establishing this relationship at an early stage helps cement what a Data & Analytics project needs from its business users and in turn, what you can expect.
From these early conversations, a path which the project should follow will become apparent. With business insight; refining how important each process is to the business and the level of estimated complexity will drive a timeline in terms of priority and maximising success.
Before even touching the data, the project has a clear end-goal with checkpoints to reach along the way.
Executing the Project
Once your analytics project has motivation, direction and purpose, it’s time to execute.
Start by looking for the data needed to progress, data discovery, cataloguing and mapping all play a critical role in this. Involve business stakeholders to add context to data, tag and document this, so you have a handle on why it’s required downstream. Think about things like compliance and data privacy regulations; personal data privacy, for example, is of the utmost importance to users, businesses and legislators and should be your top priority.
You have now established, prioritised and have a familiarity with your data. Now, it’s time to choose your toolset and go about wrangling, mixing and merging this data in a meaningful way to progress your project.
Working with an internal IT team or external providers can make connections to accessible systems and corral this data for analytical purposes. You may also want to look for and connect to open datasets to enrich existing business data with additional information.
Follow the three steps:
- Connect – both with the business and your data
With a plan in place and data to link together, you’ve answered the elusive “Where do we start?” question. Now it’s time to ask yourself, “Where do we go next?”
Demystifying Data Workshop
Neueda is currently offering a FREE Demystifying Data Workshop, where we will demonstrate the value a Modern Data Platform can bring to your organisation.