No Two Days Alike…

I’m the kind of person who craves change.

I get bored kinda easily if I’m doing something routine.

But once I hit a spot where my passion can intersect with a new task, I go all in.

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It’s not really a short attention span.

I just like trying new things.

Thats why analytics is so amazing to me.

Looking at ever changing data to discover patterns and answer questions.

Helping people get turned on to a career as an analyst or helping a business in need of some analytics guidance is among my favorite things.

As I look towards the road ahead, I see lots and lots of  new experiences, new places and new challenges.

For me, no two days are ever the same.

And I love it!

Actionable Management Reporting

Except from my upcoming book on analytics for the small business owner…

One question I get asked a lot is what should someone do when they know the data they are reporting and/or using in their analysis is not the best data available?

  • Typically, Excel and PowerPoint are the primary tools used to provide management reporting to a company’s leadership. In the past few years there have been major technology innovations in business intelligence applications and data visualization software that have taken management reporting to a whole new level.
  • Recruiting has seen a huge increase in number and types of reporting tools available to deliver very fast and very detailed recruitment analytics.
  • This leads up to the concept of a business dashboard… which we will get to later.

No matter what part of the business you work in, the first thing to do is to define the current Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) being used in decision-making.  Often right off the bat, some of the KPIs being reported aren’t even being used.

You can do a simple survey, asking end users to rank in order of importance the KPIs they get. Also ask if the ones at the bottom are even useful or should they be eliminated if no one is using them.

At the same time you should be working on understanding what computations go into each KPI. Often we just do simple counts, total and averages that mask more important data. On the flip side, we tend to over complicate things with extravagant weighing and scoring. Either way, we need to make sure we know exactly what is being reported and how does the final data point come to its end state.

The next step is to look at the data architecture to make sure there is nothing happening upstream that might impact the data we are using in the KPIs. Before making changes to the KPIs we want to have the full view of what happens before the data gets to the end user.

Now we are at the point where we can start experimenting. What happens when we swap out data points? Or if we change a variable in a calculation? Or we pull the data from a different source? The questions are endless. Pick a few, make some changes in a test environment and start sharing the updated KPI data. See if it has more value with the end users.

Again, this shouldn’t be hard. But of course in many organizations a lot of consequences can result from a simple change to just one KPI. Spreadsheets may have to be reformatted, review processes may have to be updated, and dashboards may have to be redesigned. But in the end, what is more important? Making decisions with crappy data or setting a standard to let the reporting process evolve as the business evolves?

This come back to my point earlier, changing KPIs is as much sales as it is analysis… that you have to be ready to share a story, back it up with data, and really influence the minds of senior management that updating the KPIs makes good business sense.

If you are at a point where you are trying to figure out what KPIs aren’t working anymore or you need help in building a business case to change some KPIs, let me know. I’m here to help.

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Business Strategy with Analytics – Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you align your business strategy with analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business, Big Data

“Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.” Geoffrey Moore – Author of Crossing the Chasm & Inside the Tornado.

Without analytics, your company is vulnerable. However, just owning analytics tools isn’t enough. Extracting value from your analytics investment requires sufficient staff, well-defined processes, a clear business strategy, and leadership support.

All the Data We Create Each Day

Think about some of the things you do in your daily life. You get up, you eat, go to work/school, shop, do something for entertainment, bank, go online and do things on social media. Everything you do generates data. That data is captured in countless ways. And then it’s stored in countless places. And analyzed by countless numbers of people. And then used in countless ways by businesses to market, design, advertise, build, sell, and so on.

Every time you check your phone to see if there are any updates on Facebook you generate a lot of data for your phone manufacturer, your service provider and Facebook itself. Everything you like or comment on can be turned into a data point. The time, place and length of your connection all provide useful data. Get the point? It’s endless.

That’s big data.

In general, big data is thought of as all the data businesses capture and store in a database that they can use for business decision-making.

When you think of data collections that have millions and millions of rows of data like big bank transaction data, or traffic data for major cities, or all the statistics captured everyday across professional sports. Way too much for man to analyze without help from technology. That’s all big data.

Every business defines its big data a little differently. There is no one way to look at how best to manage big data because big data is such a living, evolving, never ending flow of information. It’s like lakes of water that are too big to swim across and too deep to dive to the bottom of without help. And no two lakes are alike.

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Small Business Analytics – The field of small business analytics is just starting to blossom as companies are looking for more data-driven decision-making to prosper in the age of Big Data. DMAIPH is at the fore front of providing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing options to small businesses. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on how to get more analytics in your small business.

 

 

Current Trends in Small Business Analytics

Analytics as a discipline is constantly evolving. Advances in technology allow what was once expensive and difficult to now be at the fingertips of any business user.  The goal of analytics is “to turn data into information, and information into insight.” -Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of HP

Fiorina, highlighted some of the key steps in analytics. Reporting turns raw data into information that can be consumed by a company, and through analysis you turn information into insights. Taking her comments one important step further, you need to turn insight into action if you want to progress down the path to value with analytics.

Analytics is constantly evolving, so staying current is paramount to success.

Staying current is all about being strategic in time management. I have to stay up to date on current trends in analytics as well as with new analytics applications and technologies. Besides just staying current for my own benefit, I share relevant updates with my colleagues, clients and followers.

Every few months I devote a day to discover what the current trends in analytics are. I do this both to refresh the slides in my presentation and to refresh my mind to see what I may have missed.

The amount of literature out there on analytics continues to blossom at an amazing rate, making it a true challenge to stay well versed on what’s hot and what’s not. I read a new analytics themed book about once a month and I have well over 200 blogs, web sites and social media groups cataloged. So I like to think I’m pretty well versed on what is current.

If I had to pick 5 current trends in small business analytics to talk about it would be:

(1) Picking a Good Business Intelligence Tool,

(2) Mining Public Unstructured Data,

(3) Mapping Your Business Data Environment,

(4) Centralizing Various Data Sources,

(5) Understanding Data Science and Big Data Analytics.

Every time I go to list the top 5 analytics trends, I find that some things change and some stay the same. Ever since I have been writing about analytics, data visualization is near the top. Business dashboards continue to be a big need. Business Intelligence (BI) tools evolve and new ones’ pop up, but Tableau continues to be a market leader.

Small Businesses who want to optimize the use of analytics need to start with finding a good BI tool to help them make sense of their business data. MS Excel is the most common option to get started with.

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Small Business Analytics – The field of small business analytics is just starting to blossom as companies are looking for more data-driven decision-making to prosper in the age of Big Data. DMAIPH is at the fore front of providing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing options to small businesses. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on how to get more analytics in your small business.

Analytics Ain’t Cheap, Nor Should It Be!

Garbage In, Garbage Out is a common phrase I hear a lot when people talk about bad analytics.

Dirty, unstructured, error-filled, and/or inaccurate data is the bane of any good analyst.

SO when I saw a friends post asking about how to explain to a potential client that basically wanted an analytics solution done on the cheap, I suggested he not pursue that client.

If  you are creative and have the ability to be innovative with solutions, you can have good analytics that are affordable.

There are a number of BI tools out there that have free versions. You can do a lot of pretty awesome stuff in excel. So technology doesn’t have to be a factor.

You can also send people to reasonably priced training programs or have them self learn using online resources. That can save money.

But when it comes to the people. You get what you pay for. And if you want to go cheap on compensation for analytics professionals you will pretty much guarantee a bad outcome.

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Analytics Outsourcing – DMAIPH has successfully set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have it down to a science. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about how to set up an analytics-centric team in the Philippines.

Let’s See How the Wind Blows: YouTube Video

For those who missed it: On CGTN, #Philippines and #ASEAN economies and security hang in the balance as Donald Trump takes over as U.S. President. Happy to add my perspective to current events impacting business in the Philippines.

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

Global Demand for Analytics and Data Science Talent

There are not enough analytics experts and data scientists to go around.

I say this a lot.

Just did a quick google search to put some recent data points and commentary to back up what I say.

The mass adoption of big data has seen companies across sectors scramble to hire enough data scientists to glean insights and drive decision making.

A decade ago, explaining data science to employers was challenging. Few people understood the value of a skill set that combines computer science, statistics, operations research, engineering, business insights and strategy and the impact it can have on a business.

But things have changed over the last five years. Not only has the term “data science” become commonplace, but data scientists have become highly sought after in the marketplace

According to a 2015 MIT Sloan Management Review, 40 percent of the companies surveyed were struggling to find and retain the data analytics talent. And the picture is starting to look even bleaker.

International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a need by 2018 for 181,000 people with deep analytical skills, and a requirement five times that number for jobs with the need for data management and interpretation skills.

A report by McKinsey & Company is frequently referenced, stating that by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

Deloitte’s Analytics Trends 2016 report notes that while there is a rising number of university analytics and data science programs (more than 100 just in the U.S.), they nonetheless can’t crank out enough sufficiently trained people to meet demand.

Consequently, the report recommends that companies should:

  • Actively recruit on campuses with data analytics programs.
  • Develop internships and student projects both as a recruiting tool and to groom students for an efficient transition to the general business world and company culture.
  • Establish meaningful and rewarding career paths with an infrastructure in place most likely to interest and attract new talent.

In a recent blog post, Facebook listed a number of tips for students to prepare for such fields. Chief among them: “Take all the math you can possibly take,” including probability and statistics. (And while you’re at it, the company recommends, make sure you take some computer science, and try to squeeze in engineering, economics, philosophy of knowledge, and the latest brain research, too.)

One of the reasons I am so bullish about 2017, is that appetite for analytics and datas science is through the roof. Finally, everyone is starting to get serious about how to infuse their decision-making with more data.

DMAIPH specializes in empowering and enabling leaders, managers, professionals and students with a mastery of analytics fundamentals. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you acquire the analytics mastery you and your organization need to be successful in today’s data-driven global marketplace.

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Sources

http://www.business.com/recruiting/big-data-big-problem-coping-with-shortage-of-talent-in-data-analysis/

https://techcrunch.com/2015/12/31/how-to-stem-the-global-shortage-of-data-scientists/

https://content.pivotal.io/blog/mckinsey-report-highlights-the-impending-data-scientist-shortage

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/big-data-the-next-frontier-for-innovation

https://code.facebook.com/posts/384869298519962/artificial-intelligence-revealed/

 

 

 

The Huge Growth Opportunity of Analytics in the Philippines

The Philippines is standing on the precipice of a huge opportunity.

We are in a similar place to where we were 10 years ago when the Call Center Industry was just taking off.

Now instead of becoming a global hub for customer service calls, the opportunity is becoming a center for analytics and data science.

There is nowhere to go but up.

Here is why…

  • A well-documented need for analytics talent globally.
  • A youthful workforce of English speakers with an affinity for Western Culture.
  • Leadership from within the government and higher education pushing the inclusion of analytics and data science into college and even high school curriculums.
  • A vibrant work force of young professionals that have experience working for international companies and assisting people from all over the world.
  • A strong sense of self-preservation in the BPO industry to offer “up the value chain” services to their clients.
  • Industry leaders and business owners with an insatiable appetite to keep the county’s economic momentum in growth mode.
  • A collection of thought leaders, analytics experts and actual data scientists that are
    highly motivated to lead the country to data-driven success.

There are undoubtedly many more.

The bottom line is 2017 is looking like it will be the year the analytics and data science are firmly established as strengths of doing business in and with the Philippines.

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Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

Most Impactful Ways To Becoming a Great Analyst

As a follow up to a survey I sent to several hundred of my LinkedIn connections a few months back. I sent the survey to connections working with data analytics on a regular basis.

I told them I was talking with a young professional just getting started in his analytics career. During our conversation we discussed what is most important to being a great analyst. I asked for their opinion, of the following ways to learn about analytics, which one has been the most important in your career path?

  1. Formal Education – A degree or certificate in an analytics related field.
  2. Self-Learning – Using trial and error and online resources.
  3. Subject Matter Experts – Being trained/mentored by an expert.
  4. Seminars/Workshops – Attending events to acquire new knowledge.
  5. Technical Training – Attend training on specific technical areas.
  6. Other – Please provide a brief description

 

Here are some pearls of wisdom from some of the replies I got… keep in mind these are all from well established analytics professionals:

“the most important in my career path is self-learning as most of the things we’re doing like journal reading and implementing algorithms needs less dependency with the people you are working with but requires collaboration with them and this requires you to solve problems by yourself and implement things by yourself but communicate them properly to the people you’re working with.”

If you don’t have the drive to do this, you will be an analyst in name only.

“Self-Learning – Using trial and error and online resources. World changes too fast for any of those others to matter.”

In the 15 years I have been doing analytics without any formal education in data-related fields I can say that this is 100% true. To be a great analyst you have to always been learning.

“your ability to tell the story behind all the numbers will make you an indispensable asset and an outlier in the increasingly growing population of analysts. Management almost always don’t have the time to read all the numbers in tables, spreadsheets, and reports, but they will surely appreciate instantly seeing the big picture presented in a “one-pager” report prepared by analysts. That almost always makes an analyst “great” in the eyes of the report consumers.”

Yes! If what you spend your blood, sweat and tears on does influence decisions, then you are working on the wrong place.

#2 and #3 have been important. Having a mentor to coach you side by side gives you accountability to progress in your work and learning curve. Naturally, this will push you to self-learn: trying out what you’ve learned and testing.”

Having a mentor is so important to help you get access to the actual learning experiences you need to evolve and excel as an analyst.

“spending time with the consumers of the analytics is especially important. Learning how they look at the data, and/or want to look at the data. What is important to them. What really matters. Too much non-essential information and you’ll loose them. Targeting their needs with relevance and precision will win them.”

Another big point that is often overlooked, if you are spending time producing repots and they don’t take customer insights into account, you have a big blindside.

“The most important thing to being a great analyst is to have a great sense of awareness. For me, self-learning has been the most important.”

I cannot imagine anyone being a great analyst if you didn’t have at least a bit of an ego mixed in with a Superman complex. Great analysts live to fix things.

It’s interesting to note that only 2 of the 50+ replies I got form surveying my LinkedIn connections said formal education is the most important.

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Analytics Survey – DMAIPH conducts quarterly analytics surveys to collect data on current trends in analytics. We specialize in surveys that assess analytics culture and measuring how aligned an organization is to using data and analytics  in its decision-making. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out more about how DMAIPH can conduct surveys to help you assess the analytics culture in your business.

 

 

DMAIPH joins Global Chamber Manila

The other day I had the honor to join the advisory board for the Global Chamber Manila.

http://manila.globalchamber.org/cpages/home

Global Chamber Manila helps members get business done across metro areas!

We are a thriving and collaborating community of CEO’s, executives, and professionals growing business across 500 metropolitan areas. We leverage technology and our collective networks around the world to help member companies grow, reduce risk, be more productive, and succeed faster.

We are the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We help companies, investors and business service providers around the world succeed.

We will be having some awesome events this coming January 16-18 to meet and greet potential members.

To help combat traffic, we have scheduled the launch on 3 different locations at BGC, Makati City and Ortigas Center:

The event is FREE but please RSVP to ensure we can reserve a seat for you. Just click on the link for the locations above. http://manila.globalchamber.org/events

Beverages and light refreshments will be served. See you!

News & Events- DMAIPH is a highly engaged leader, sponsor and participant in analytics events across the U.S. and the Philippines. As an Analytics Champion I write, blog, speak and lecture about analytics in a wide variety of forums. I authored several publications on analytics including my latest book, Putting Your Data to Work. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about where I will be talking about analytics next.