Analytics Big Data Challenge: Audience

posted Jan 22, 2013, 11:49 AM by Michael Hoffman
News to CIO's, BI and Big Data practioners: YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE PROBLEM.

Analytics and business intelligence is the top priority for Chief Information Officers (CIO's), according to the latest Gartner survey of more than 2,000 CIOs, which at first seems out of line with the same article's list of top 10 business priorities where the top priority is "increasing enterprise business growth." 

But wait... How will the company grow? Where are growth prospects? What's working and not working? These questions and their respective answers are the promised rewards for analytics and BI efforts and investments.

So Big Data + Data Scientists + Self Service Business Intelligence + Predictive Modeling = Business Growth? 

If only it were that easy:  "ask business managers 'what business questions, if answered, would ensure you meet your business performance objectives,' then hit 'go' and answers are sent to managers." 

But this solution hasn't worked for twenty years. The majority of employees continue to be dissatisfied with the results, the end user benefits, of companies' analytics and BI initiatives. 

Why? Because analytics and business intelligence are rarely implemented with the audience's learning style and information consumption style factored into the analytics information architecture.  

Good News: Analytics audience acceptance is pipeline issue, meaning, content refinement and presentation are refinements that take place just prior to end user consumption. It many cases, analytics refinement expense is less than 5% of the analytics total cost of ownership. 

Caution: The lack of 5% analytics audience centric content and delivery tuning investment likely blocks 90% of BI and analytics potential value. 


The picture above depicts categories of analytics and reporting audience types (more detail in white paper tbd).

[Side note/recent example: In a presentation a couple of days ago to a small audience, five global department executives, I watched 2 high power executives zone out as the presenter clicked on the third slide of charts and graphs showing exponential gains in customer awareness from 2009 to 2012. As an analyst, the percentage growth was impressive. As a business owner the customer awareness increase was only mildly comforting because it wasn't correlated to revenue growth. To the two Solitary, non Visual audience members, the presentation was simply painful.]  

Analysts, report designers and presenters should print the Learning and Consumption Styles and put it on post it notes and reminder tags all around their work environment (the presentation graphic above has also become a popular " audience reminder".

Visual - needs to see text, diagrams, flow charts, demonstrations.

Auditory -  needs to hear, either to listen or to participate in discussions.

Tactile/Kinesthetic - needs to write, to touch, to do, to move, to build.

Reflective - needs to think through before doing.

Social - prefers to study with other people.

Solitary - prefers to study alone.

While recognizing audience end user learning types and consumption types just prior to information delivery is shortcut to growing performance gains through analytics, a better solution, that will likely grow performance gains and create superior competitive advantage by empowering more decision makers with insights, alerts and guidance aligned with their ability to use them (consumption preferences) will likely evolve to an analytics consumption model that resemble the Apple iTunes consumer centric model depicted in the picture below.

The Outcome + Audience Centric Analytics Information Architecture encourages companies to examine the analytics and business intelligence priority cited by Gartner in reverse order, from the analytic consumer perspective backwards, without regard for analytics platforms, skill sets, tools nor providers and data sets and data structures. 

While most CIO's, CTO's and analytics executives will likely scoff at the Outcome + Audience Centric concept, cloud, business process outsourcing, SAAS, PAS, advances in expert systems and business process management and gain share models (performance improvement for hire) and owners and managers seeking performance enhancement innovations will slowly make the concept a reality. 

This post is in response to a phone discussion I just had about the Outcome +  Analytics slideshare presentation. Thought it was worth sharing.