In the last few weeks, I’ve spoken with three different clients who are struggling with the issue of end user adoption. Each described a routine set of activities, either completed or in process, that you would expect to see in a thoughtful change management program. Nonetheless, all three customers expressed frustration at the lack of user adoption.

Why is this? Do we need to rethink our traditional process for engaging users as we embark on our data and analytics journey?

In a word, yes. Read more

IT and business leaders share a common goal – to leverage the data available to them in order to make more informed business decisions. The first step to achieving that goal is to create a data & analytics roadmap, a task many companies find daunting. Where do you begin?

 

“Most organizations are ineffective in communicating data & analytics-related concepts across departments, resulting in suboptimal management and utilization of information.”

– Doug Laney, Gartner Blog Network

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CIO and IDG released the 2017 State of the CIO report this week. Their findings are useful not just for the CIO role in general but also for exploring the connection between the CIO and analytics initiatives. Looking at the report through the lens of data and analytics, I had three reactions to the survey results:

  1. CIOs should consider using analytics to drive business innovation, backing up their transformational and strategic activities with concrete resources.
  2. CIOs and line of business leaders should consider communicating even more and syncing expectations through data and analytics.
  3. CIOs should consider investing in a data and analytics roadmap to enable themselves as both business strategists and technicians.

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Data governance is a common need across organizations, and can be a very challenging subject to tackle. Understanding data governance’s components, what good governance looks like, and the drivers behind adopting it is essential to creating a successful governance effort. Read more

Creating a data and analytics roadmap is an important first step in helping your organization utilize data to achieve growth, understanding, and action. But often we hear from clients that their roadmap isn’t leading them to their desired destination. While many are successful in laying out the technical requirements, identifying the path to business outcomes, and building the right foundation, they still find themselves unable to make sufficient progress towards their goals. Read more

LEXINGTON, Mass., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Ironside, a Boston-based data and analytics firm, just released an authoritative list of questions that they recommend business leaders try to answer now in planning for their analytics initiatives.

Today, it’s safe to say that the majority of businesses understand the value of analytics. They get that their data is important and that using it in the right way can have significant benefits. The problem, though, is that even though the business community as a whole acknowledges these facts, there’s still a lot of magical thinking around analytics tools and platforms out there. Read more

The BI software market is continually becoming larger and more complex to navigate.  Any organization looking to implement, update, complement, or replace BI tools has surely been inundated with information from dozens of vendors offering potentially hundreds of business analytics technologies.  How does one begin the process of narrowing the playing field and choosing the right solution?

Ironside is here to help. This article represents our thoughts on what to look for in a BI tool and explores some of the tools we think work well in different business cases: Birst, IBM Cognos Analytics, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Qlik, and Tableau. Read more

Ironside hosted a webinar on IT-Driven vs. User-Driven Analytics: How to Coexist. Rob Minogue, Director of Advisory Services and Scott Misage, Business Analytics Practice Lead, presented on how to bridge the gap between IT-Driven analytics and User-Driven analytics and innovative approaches to monitoring and governance.

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Let’s go back a few years. You and your company invested significant amounts of time, effort, and capital to implement a business intelligence environment meant to serve the analytic needs of your organization and help drive insights. You and your team spent extra effort in developing the metadata and reporting that the business said they required, yet you’ve been hearing about users downloading free tools for analysis, your development request backlog has dried up, and a quick look at your audit logs shows flat, or worse, declining usage of your environment. What’s going on? Read more

This year at the Gartner BI & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, Texas, Ironside’s own Greg Bonnette delivered a presentation that got his audience questioning just what it is that makes a good dashboard. During his talk, Why Your Dashboard Sucks, Greg used the all-too-familiar staple of BI development as a gateway into a much wider discussion of design thinking and its applications in a business analytics setting. Read more