Speed! Seems like everybody wants to go faster and faster. But here is the question: Why is speed only half the story when it comes to analytics? Yeah, the desktop business intelligence and data discovery vendors all tell you that they will get you there quickly but will they get you there safely in first place???
I was speaking with Derek Daly, former Formula 1 race car driver from Ireland, about what it takes to win in both Formula 1 racing and in today’s business environment. It was a fascinating topic as many people think you just have to go fast to get to the finish line. The reality of Formula 1 racing is that it is about both speed and the right actions. Drivers must make split second accurate decisions at the speed of thought. Otherwise, they end up driving their car into the wall and in the worst case scenario they die.
This made me think about my day job which is in the analytics space. I hear so often from prospects and clients that they need speed…they need insights faster than anyone else. Well, what happens if the “fast insights” are accurate but don’t give you the nuance behind the data? Or even worse, what if they are just inaccurate?
The fast insights that are offered to you by the data discovery vendors get you the answer of “what happened” fast but often leave out the answer to “why something happened”. This perception about needing fast insights can lead to some very dangerous decisions. Just because you got there quickly does not mean the answers are right.
Fast ≠ Right
The real issue is “confident decisions.” To build real confidence, you have to start by fixing the data problems that can undermine your analytics – ensure you have all the data you need and that the data and analytics are trusted. You also need the full spectrum of analytics which address all questions bringing context to your analysis.
- Descriptive (What happened?) ,
- Diagnostic (Why did it happen?)
- Predictive (What is likely to happen?)
- Prescriptive (What should I be doing?)
That way you’ll cut through the uncertainty of the what, while getting deeper insights into the why to understand what you should actually be doing!
Just like the Formula 1 race car driver – business leaders need speed but they need to take the right actions and have confidence in their decisions. For business leaders, they may not drive their car into the wall but making the wrong decisions quickly can lead to lost revenue, lost customers and in some cases industry fines.