For those of us in IT management, analytics is a familiar topic with a familiar value proposition. But for many organizations, success with IT analytics is less familiar. Why do so many fail in their adoption attempts? And how can you avoid failure and embrace success? As we’ll see below, the problems usually boil down to products, people, and processes.
Simply put, there are too many tools to choose from. The overabundance of tools complicates our decision about which tool will adequately and reliably meet our needs. Going through the implementation cycle with each tool being considered usually isn’t feasible, yet the only way to know if a tool is going to work for you is to put it to work.
Related to the sheer number of tools is the number of tool categories in the analytics tool market, such as:
Of course, IT pros might not be familiar with any of the tool categories above — unless they are data experts. But if you don’t know the categories, it can take a long time to figure out what your organization, department or end users need. And those needs can vary by department, team and end user.
Organizational departments tend to work in silos. Each team has its own isolated data set that is not shared with other internal teams or departments. Consider a customer who interacts with a company’s pre-sales, marketing, sales, and support teams over the course of a year. If the teams don’t see each other’s customer data, nobody has a holistic view of the customer. It’s very difficult to correlate the teams’ disparate data sets and present an account manager or other manager with an end-to-end view of the customer. As a result, the company is missing a big chance to improve its internal processes as well as its customer service.
For most internal analytics projects, you need an executive to back the project and secure the budget, people, and resources to make it happen. Without an executive sponsor, the project will fall through. If the team tasked with setting up the analytics solution fails to hit key milestones on time, the sponsor may lose interest.