Are you budgeting for analytics programs in 2019? Here are the top 3 things managers frequently miss or underestimate in their analytics budgets:
- Stakeholder Needs Assessment. Investment in thoroughly identifying stakeholder needs and wants, both broadly at inception of the program, and narrowly during requirements phase. Stakeholders are not always sure of what they need, so it’s important to have an experienced guiding hand to draw out the specificities of how they will use analytics. User needs can be diverse, even for users within the same function, so it’s important to not short-change the process to collectively identify needs across the functional area that you are delivering on, whether it’s sales/revenue, marketing, customer engagement, HR, finance, or other area of the business.
- Technology Costs. Underestimating the costs of technical delivery, including data transformation, data infrastructure, and data delivery. This is driven from #1. Stakeholder needs will drive the technological methods for how you will collect and transform data insight to satisfy stakeholder analytics needs. There is also a dependency on vendors that will provide the technology, or on the internal teams that will build platforms if you use a build vs. buy approach. It’s important to ensure you have commitment from vendors on pricing structure that will satisfy productionalized systems that will be supported and maintained post-deployment.
- Realistic program delivery resources. This is driven from #1 and #2. Stakeholder needs and technical delivery drive what human resources you require to build, deploy, and support analytics programs. This includes on and offshore resources, full-timers, consultants and contractors for positions in program and project management, engineering, application development, business and systems analysis, testing, training and documentation, as well as liaison roles like a relationship manager, for ongoing user needs analysis and adoption support.
Contingency. Every program and project contains an element of uncertainty, as not all aspects of the program can be estimated and planned at the outset. In other words, stuff might happen that negatively impacts the program, even at the hands of an experienced team, so adding contingencies into your budget provides a buffer for unintended or unexpected obstacles.
Need help? Cohere Insights is a consultancy that helps organizations with #1 and #3. We advise on #2. We provide analytics advisory and consulting services and end-to-end technical implementation of analytics and business intelligence applications.