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Five Steps for Businesses to Turn Data into Dollars

ICC Says Organizations Need to Focus on Business Value of Data Analytics Initiatives

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Most companies today have little idea how to turn data into dollars – let alone turning big data into big dollars. Yet most companies still want to capitalize on the promise big data holds for insights into opening new markets, acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. The question is: "How?" ICC, the Business and IT Solutions company that correctly predicted the 2014 Oscars and designs collaboration solutions for today's workforce, has outlined five steps that can help organizations avoid being part of the estimated 70 percent of companies that fail to achieve business value projected from their big data initiatives.

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"Any major technology initiative by your organization demands a sound strategy aligned with your business goals," says Steve Grover, VP of Business Analytics at ICC. "It is not simply the latest shiny object to be enjoyed for a while, then, tucked away discreetly when it doesn't fulfill expectations that were never properly defined."

Five Steps for Businesses to Turn Data into Dollars
Grover offers some guidance for IT and line of business professionals when looking to extract value from their data initiatives.

Step One: Find the right business case
Data analytics is all about measuring and monitoring and, based on what you learn, making changes to the way you do business.  "If you are not willing to make necessary changes based on what you learn from the data, then you have the wrong business case and you will be wasting your time," says Grover.

Step Two: Assemble the right team
If you think of analytics as a football team then it requires an owner, a coach, a quarterback and a center.  The rest of the team forms around this nucleus.  The owner is the primary business sponsor and must be a VP or C-level executive.  The coach should be a consultant or firm that specializes in analytics.  The quarterback is a line of business person who has the expertise to keep the project focused on business outcomes and the center of the line is held by IT.  The coach works on a daily basis with the quarterback and the center to produce an effective outcome.

Step Three:  Get the requirements right
There are three critical sub-steps to gathering requirements effectively:  First, understand the business questions and the metrics (and associated dimensions) required to answer those questions.  Second, prototype and validate that the solution will answer the questions to achieve the benefits.   And third, make sure the data required for the production solution is actually being captured by the source system!

Step Four:  Build incrementally
The days of being handed $2 million and waiting a year for results are over.  New analytic capability should be delivered on an ongoing basis – every 3-4 months minimum.  "If any of your partners suggest otherwise, it may be time to make a change on the team," says Grover.

Step Five:  Begin with the end in mind
Analytics solutions are living processes, the more changes and additions requested of an analytic solution, the healthier it is and the more valuable it becomes.  Conversely, if no one is requesting changes the solution is likely dead – perhaps because no one is using it.  "If you begin with the end user in mind, asking 'Who is going to be using your data?', 'Who is going to benefit from it and how?' the project will be much more successful," says Grover. "Remember that data is not, in itself, a solution, but a tool that enables the solution."

Want to Learn More?

About ICC
ICC (Information Control Company), based in Columbus, Ohio, is a leading provider of enterprise technology solutions. With a staff over 500 highly trained consultants, we are experts in Strategy, User Experience, Visual Design, Engineering, Project Management, Business Analytics and Quality Assurance. Using these skills, we develop and deploy innovative, business-critical solutions that enable Fortune 500 and mid-market organizations to improve operational efficiencies. Our Business, Digital and Technology solutions give our clients a competitive advantage that helps them drive revenues and increase margin.

Farsite, the advanced analytics division of ICC, specializes in helping companies use Big Data and predictive analytics to empower smart business decisions, solve their toughest challenges and gain a distinctive competitive advantage. For more information visit www.FarsiteGroup.com.

Clutch is a world-class digital ad agency inside the walls of ICC. Together, they're a collection of seasoned strategists, user experience specialists, writers, art directors and developers who specialize in the art and science of interactive conversations. 

ICC is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and an IBM Premier Business Partner. ICC is committed to serving its clients, community and country by developing U.S.-based leaders who work hard to strengthen the American economy. More information is available at http://www.icctechnology.com.

Media Contacts:
Theresa Hodgson
ICC
thodgson@icct.com 
614-523-3070 x106
http://www.icctechnology.com/

Rich Mullikin
Communication Strategy Group for ICC
rmullikin@gocsg.com 
866-997-2424
www.communicationstrategygroup.com

SOURCE Information Control Company

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