As some of you know I have been interested in the whole analytics topic for quite a while. Narrowly focused, I will admit, into those areas that support operations, In one area (maintenance) I have collected over 200 KPI’s specific to the area. Being so focused it is easy to lose site of the bigger picture. When I ran across this posting by McKinsey & Company (http://www.mckinsey.com/) I wanted to share it with you.

It is a summary of  a discussion with eight executives in the area of data analytics who got together to share perspectives on their biggest challenges.

What struck me was one of the conclusions was  that Data and analytics aren’t overhyped—but they’re oversimplified. Working for a company that tries to simply and bring to everyone the tools need to enhance their job, this statement concerned me. However it wasn’t that the tools were over simplified but  in the “selling” of the idea of analytics (both internally & externally)  were over simplified. The participants agreed that the expectations of senior management were a real issue.  That their expectations of benefits from analytics were divorced for the realities of the applications. Thus they were ill prepared for the  challenges that arise and this quickly bread skepticism.

This is unfortunate since new opportunities to apply analytics will continually be discovered.  According to a Digital Universe study less than 1% of the worlds data is analyzed (http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/dec/19/big-data-study-digital-universe-global-volume), so by becoming disappointed  early on in your analytical activities will remove a whole raft of opportunities for improvement.

Another problem they concluded is talent, or more correctly the lack of available talent in this area. It seem that every where I turn the lack of skilled talent is a problem (see my previous blogs for other articles on the talent shortage). This lack of talent extends far beyond the shortage that I have previously discussed( the shortage in skilled trades for example) And now includes the shortage of supply of IT and analytics professionals,along with those people whose talents bridge the disciplines of IT and data, analytics, and business decision making.   This continual shortage of talent is of real concern, since not now only do we have problems in finding who are capable of performing the analysis (and whom we are relying on to identify areas of improvement ), but those who have to implement the improvements.

Do you think that this lack of talent will impede the benefits of the data analytics revolution? Will we be able to generate the benefits  of these new opportunities that are before us? Please let me know what you think.

For those of you who would like to read the complete article please use the following link http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/views_from_the_front_lines_of_the_data_analytics_revolution

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