An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:
Bad data, good data, relevant data
Not so much about timing, but an important message nevertheless… When developing a service agreement with internal client groups, external customers, vendors, reporting teams, or anyone that needs your data, be prepared to get 'acquainted' with them. Wine and dine them, understand their needs, desires and limitations. What is it that they want and why they want it? If they are providing provisioning statistics to regulators why do they need marketing campaign statistics. Why do they want the data on a weekly basis when they only analyze it monthly. Get to know them, so you can better serve them. Remember data quality is not just about bad data or good data, it's also about relevant data.
—Daniel Gent: Sun Tzu and the Art of Data Quality (Part 2)
Security and functionality
In my view, technologists from academia, startups, IT providers, integrators and large enterprises (including the federal space) need to understand that security and functionality are not two different concepts. They are the same concept. You don’t get functionality without security. And security without functionality is not security, it’s stupid.
—Bob Gourley: CTOs: Keep your focus on security and functionality
Why can’t they be friends
As marketers become more tech-savvy, the demands they place on corporate information technology (IT) departments often increase. Unable and reluctant to meet the demands of marketing, IT sometimes turns a deaf ear to change and budget requests causing marketers to go it alone. However, going it alone—without IT—can create headaches, internal conflict, and strip marketing of budget that should be used for marketing programs. Should “marketing” be working closer with IT, or taking control of its own destiny?
—Paul Barsch: Should Marketing Executives Skip the IT Department?
Rigor begets… flexibility!
As ironic as it seems, in BI—as in manufacturing—rigor actually invites flexibility. When everyone follows a sustainable development process, ownership, decision rights, and completion milestones are baked-in. Early error detection mitigates the need for reinvention and rework, allowing IT and business constituents to be clear about their commitments, and deliver them more quickly. BI teams can spend more on creative improvements, like enlisting new users, developing on-line tool and data training, and using social media tools for closer team collaboration.
—Jill Dyché: Rigor? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Rigor! The Importance of Process
Can we trust them?
The new techniques might also help in another area: extranet business intelligence. In today’s connected ecosystems of customer and partners, it’s essential to be able to share information for the good of all. But although extranets have been around since the earliest web-based BI tools, they are still not as widely used as one might expect. There are several reasons for this – not least the ubiquitous data quality problems that companies are reluctant to expose outside the company’s firewall. But one big reason is that companies don’t necessarily trust their partners to look after the information
—Timo Elliott: A Big Cryptographic Boost for On-Demand BI and Extranets?
That old argument…
Effective enterprise performance management requires analysts and leaders who possess creative thinking and curiosity – similar to the generalists. Business analytics software, such as offered by my employer SAS, can provide the stimulation that aids in thinking of problems differently. The correct decisions involving risk and profit become increasingly difficult to make because they are linked in complex ways that are not obvious to see. It will not get simpler. Uncertainty is a given, and with increasing competency with applying analytics by skilled individuals within an organization, then better decisions and actions can be the result.
—Gary Cokins: Who are more effective – Specialists or Generalists?