Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making – Webinar on Feb 15

With Daniel Meyer, President and Founder, Decision-Making, Analytics & Intelligence Philippines… that’s me! 🙂

I have the honor of conducting  a webinar next month in partnership with American University.

Here is the promotional copy for the webinar… hope some of my followers like you are able to join us. 

Evaluators can learn from the ways that the corporate sector uses business analytics to understand, interpret, and display Big Data. Key aspects from the corporate sector that are useful for monitoring and evaluation include identifying what data is important, and finding ways to visualize it for consumption. In this webinar, Daniel Meyer discusses analytics solutions relevant to measurement and evaluation.

Daniel Meyer is passionate about solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology, and successful methodologies. He is an expert on data-driven decision-making, multi-industry analytics and business intelligence. He is the author of Putting Your Data to Work and the Fundamentals of Business Analytics. Learn more about Dan Meyer.

Webinar details:

February 15, 2017

1pm Eastern

Webpage with webinar registration links: http://programs.online.american.edu/msme/webinars

 IMG_6912Daniel Meyer

Daniel Meyer is President & Founder of DMAIPH (Decision-Making, Analytics & Intelligence Philippines), an analytics, consulting, training and outsourcing company with offices in Manila and the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Meyer is one of the top analytics experts in the Philippines. With a team of over 40 analysts, DMAIPH provides a variety of analytics solutions to companies in the U.S. and Asia. Mr. Meyer is also one of the most sought after public speakers in the country and has personally trained thousands of Filipinos in various analytics functions. Before setting up his own company, Mr. Meyer worked as a Senior Analytics Consultant for Wells Fargo Bank for 15 years. Mr. Meyer provided executive management analytics for the bank’s Remittance Service including developing business dashboards, overseeing competitive intelligence gathering, managing data analytics outsourcing projects and facilitating audit and risk management. Mr. Meyer recently published Putting Your Data to Work, an analytics guidebook designed to provide organizations with a solid foundation in using analytics to empower more data-driven decisions. Mr. Meyer earned a B.A. in History with a minor in International Studies from Sonoma State University and a M.A. in Education with a focus on Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

It’s No Longer Just Enough To Know

In a recent conversation about using more analytics in the measurement and evaluation of public policies and programs, one of my colleagues said that in today’s world, “It’s no longer just enough to know.”

The point being if you aren’t using data and analysis to enhance your efforts and empower decision-makers with actionable insights, then you are not serving the public to the best of your ability.

A lot of government programs, non-profits and philanthropic organizations are what he called, “Information Rich, but Data Poor.”

Check out my upcoming webinar on Feb 15, 2017! https://dmaiph.com/2017/01/14/analytics-and-data-driven-decision-making-webinar-on-feb-15/

Just because you gather massive amounts of information in the form of data points, does not mean the data is adding value. In fact one of the biggest challenges the corporate world has been dealing with the past few years is how to optimize Big Data.

We live in a world where so much data is produced and captured, then analyzed and published in reports and article, yet the data and analysis alone is often not having the impact our policies and projects were intended to have.

In effect, we might know things, but we aren’t able to influence decisions because our data is not compelling enough.

To this end, I have advocated importing some analytics themed best practices from the corporate world to educate more on what to do with the data and how to put the data to use. To in short, be Information Rich, Data Rich to move towards more Data-Driven Decision-Making.

Starting backwards, I will first focus my training on the How. How do we make more data-driven decisions?

The I will focus on the Why. Why do we need to make more data-driven decisions?

From there we will go into several business analytics concepts like Data Visualizations, Public Data Mining, Data Lakes, Demographic Profiling using Big Data, and Data Blending.

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A final topic of interest that I will bring to the discussion is the Plus Minus Implications for Unstructured and Qualitative Data. Things that at first can be hard to assign a number too, but are just important as any piece of traditional data used in decision-making.

At the conclusion of my work, public policy and project reporting will be much more data rich, influence will improve and decision-making enhanced.

Now we won’t just know, we will be able to champion what we know in ways that will make a difference.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

My Blog Post on the Analytics of Measurement and Evaluation

I recently had the honor of writing a blog post for American University’s Measurement & Evaluation program.

The post is about using a business analytics approach to “effectively evaluate projects, programs and processes.” This is in a response to the fact that it is becoming increasingly essential to use big data and analytics to ensure organizational success.

Here is the link: http://programs.online.american.edu/msme/resource/measurement-and-evaluation-analytics

It is my hope that I can inspire readers to look for ways to bring new data into their projects, programs and processes, blend it with current data, provide more dynamic analysis and share more impactful results.

I will also be doing a webinar early next year entitled Its Not Longer Just Enough To Know. Where I will highlight some techniques and technologies that I use to empower more data-driven decision-making.

Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what I do best.

All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. Though my company DMAIPH, I can equip students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, internship, on-the-job training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

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The Analytics of Project Measurement

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.

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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.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

The Analytics of Measurement and Evaluation

By taking inspiration from the way corporations use business analytics to optimize their Big Data, our Program Measurement and Evaluation processes can be greatly enhanced.

To understand the connection, let’s start with the mission of the Measurement & Evaluation program.

“The ability to effectively evaluate projects, programs and processes is becoming increasingly essential to organizational success today. American University’s online Master of Science (MS) in Measurement & Evaluation provides you with the knowledge to lead these evaluation efforts and the technical skills needed for analytically demanding roles in upper management.” 1

A good analytics solution constructs a universal framework for collecting, analyzing and utilizing data to determine project effectiveness and efficiency.

Likewise, an efficient measurement and evaluation of projects, programs and policies using analytics should ensure success. An analytics centered approach will likely work with corporate, non-profit and governmental organizations across various sectors and industries.

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We can look specifically to two key business analytics concepts I have used in my twenty plus years of analysis work; Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Data Visualization. The key to my success was my ability to answer important business questions using analytics.

Analytics is generally defined as the discovery of patterns in data that provides insight and identifies opportunities. As Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP said about analytics, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” 2

Organizations that invest in analytics generally make much better business decisions then one’s that don’t. In fact, IBM found that organizations who use analytics are up to 12x more efficient and 33% more profitable. 3

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.

So we need to ask ourselves, what are the KPIs for the project, program or process we are measuring? What points of data need to be captured, analyzed and reported to determine success?

A successful analyst is able to remove the noise when analyzing data and isolate what matters most to his or her organization. That is what is at the heart of measurement, knowing what data is important and what is not.

Once we have the right data, we can measure what the data tells us to determine success, causality, impact… whatever the outcome may be.

A quote often attributed to management guru Peter Drucker perfectly sums up why big corporations rely so heavily on analytics when he said “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Similarly, policy decisions can be made based on what is measured. Project funding can be impacted by what is measured. Process optimization can be directed by what is measured.

Once we are able to measure what is truly important to policy-makers, managers and decision-makers, we need to make sure we present the data in a compelling way.

This is where data visualization comes in.

I often make the analogy that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good pie chart is worth a thousand rows of data.

We all know that most people learn more by seeing something then by reading or hearing it. Data visualization takes that a step further.

Data visualization is not only important to presenting our insights but also for exploring the data for insights. Most people find it easier to process information when it is in the form of a picture then a collection of data.

Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick, found that, “Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”

The ability to take all of the data gathered in the measurement phase and use it in the evaluation phase will make a significant difference in the success of the project, program or process you are working on.

According to the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, “Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency”. 5

Data Visualization can be used to paint a picture of a program, project or policy that influences outcomes based on the KPIs. And by appealing to the basic human fascination with stories, a persuasive graph, chart or infographic can make all the difference in the world.

By adopting the business analytics concepts of KPIs and Data Visualization, and applying them to the world of programs, policies and projects, you can find the same level of success I found in the corporate world.

  1. American University, “Certificate in Measurement & Evaluation” http://programs.online.american.edu/online-graduate-certificates/project-monitorin Accessed October 20, 2016
  2. Carly Fiorina Speech from December 6, 2004 http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/speeches/fiorina/04openworld.html . Accessed October 20, 2016
  3. Simon Thomas, Senior Analytics Consultant for IBM https://youtu.be/Zi8jTbXnamY . Viewed October 20, 2016
  4. Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick, http://heathbrothers.com. Accessed October 20, 2016
  5. OPRE, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/the-program-managers-guide-to-evaluation-second-edition. Accessed October 20, 2016

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

The Analytics of Project Evaluation

When looking at how to use more analytics in program evaluation, let’s start by getting a standard definition.

Per Wikipedia, Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs,[1] particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency”.

This is very much like business analytics in how business leaders look at the analysis of business data to answer questions, identify opportunities and mitigate risks.

Program effectiveness can be measured many ways. Like how a cost-benefit analysis or market penetration report could be used by a company to assess the success of a new product or service.

Program efficiency can be measured using elements of Six Sigma or Lean. Looking for waste or defects in the end results of a project can lead to discoveries of poor implementation or biased data collection.

Another primary goal of project evaluation in both the public and private sectors, is providing stakeholders with information on “whether the programs they are funding, implementing, voting for, receiving or objecting to are producing the intended effect.”

To achieve this goal, you need a system to gather, analyze and report data. Like in any analytics project, the key is finding the right data and using it to answer questions, educate your audience and provide meaningful insight.

Answering questions like, “how much the program costs per participant, how the program could be improved, whether the program is worthwhile, whether there are better alternatives, if there are unintended outcomes, and whether the program goals are appropriate and useful.[2] will indicate the level of success the program achieved.

There are many analytics techniques like data blending to bring in supporting data form outside the program. Predictive models can show where the project would go if it continues to get funding. Data visualization can also be used to help illustrate findings that can be useful in program evaluation.

Just off the top of my head, I can see a lot of opportunity for the use of a business analytics approach to Project Evaluation. There is a lot of common ground in methodology and reporting, but I think bringing in some cutting edge business analytics to the mix would allow even more insightful and actionable project evaluation.

Let’s find out.

1, 2  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_evaluation

Evaluators can learn from the ways that the corporate sector uses business analytics to understand, interpret, and display Big Data. Key aspects from the corporate sector that are useful for monitoring and evaluation include identifying what data is important, and finding ways to visualize it for consumption. In my upcoming webinar with American University on analytics solutions, I will be talking about how analytics is relevant to measurement and evaluation.

Webinar details:

February 15, 2017

1pm Eastern

Webpage with webinar registration links: http://programs.online.american.edu/msme/webinars

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

Measurement and Evaluation: Analytics and Data Driven Decision Making

Recently Worked on a paper for a school… interesting topic…Measurement and Evaluation Analytics and Data Driven Decision Making.

I will also be doing a related webinar this coming Feb 15 entitled Analytics & Data-Driven Decision-Making.

Webinar details:

February 15, 2017

1pm Eastern

Webpage with webinar registration links: http://programs.online.american.edu/msme/webinars

The ability to effectively evaluate projects, programs and processes requires a thorough understanding of analytics.

Analytics is generally defined as the discovery of patterns in data that provides insight and identifies opportunities.

Organizations that invest in analytics generally make much better business decisions then one’s that don’t.

In fact, IBM found that organizations who use analytics are up to 10x more efficient and 33% more profitable the ones who don’t.

A good analytics solution constructs a universal framework for collecting, analyzing and using data to determine project effectiveness and efficiency.

IMG_6912

As the amount of data available increases daily, the use of analytics is becoming essential to all levels of an organizational today.

This Big Data allows both deeper analysis but also requires more skill in getting to the right data.

By taking inspiration from the way corporations use business analytics to optimize their Big Data, our program measurement and evaluation processes can be greatly enhanced.

Bringing data together from a variety of sources and integrating the data into the decision-making processes, allows the empowerment of decision-makers to make much more intelligent choices.

When analytics driven leaders possess the practical assessment skills needed to evaluate projects bridging various sectors and industries, they are much more effective then ones that don’t.

In today’s information age, the quick and efficient measurement and evaluation of projects using analytics ensures success with corporate, non-profit and governmental organizations across various sectors and industries.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.