Peter Drucker perfectly summed up why big corporations rely so heavily on analytics when he said “What gets measured, gets managed.”
A successful analyst is able to remove the noise when analyzing data and isolate what matters to his or her organization.
With most companies collecting large amounts of data, you need to be both talented and disciplined to pinpoint key insights that can yield value.
In the corporate world, business analytics is widely use to track, analyze and report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
KPIs are rolled up to senior leadership to drive business strategy, identify and mitigate risk and to optimize operational productivity.
This approach is very similar to the way projects in the Measurement and Evaluation are tracked, analyzed and reported.
I would define measurement simply as the act of measuring to ascertain the impact, size, level of success, etc. of a specific data set.
There are many components to measuring projects making sure the project is on schedule, stays in scope, is not over budget, the quality of work is up to par, the end goal of the project remains relevant, and finally if the project is ultimately deemed a success.
A foundation in analytics will contribute to a more optimal and efficient process of measurement. Like businesses do with KPIs, you should start will identifying that are the key measurements your project will be judged on.
Once you know those data points, then figure out how to collect them, analyze them, and report them.
At each step you can look for new data, validate existing data and blend data from other sources to add value to your measurement efforts.
Once you get to the reporting phase you can look for cutting edge techniques in data visualization and interactive reporting like dashboards to help educate and empower your audience.
That is how it is done in the corporate world where business analysts boil down massive amounts of big, often unstructured data into a few bullet points that allow decision-makers to take action.
When it comes to the Measurement of Project Evaluation, understanding various analytics solutions can make all the difference.
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