Written by Heather L. Cole, June 17th 2021
“This is going to be the year! I swear this is the year we really leverage our Cognos and Planning Analytic investment!” This is a quote from a mid-market client I have worked with and each year at renewal time, he says this is the year. While I reflected on his challenge, I realized other clients including Cognos Analytic and Planning Analytic clients may have the same struggle. So, today we will start our guide on how to create your analytics roadmap without hiring expensive consultants. This is part one of a two-part blog.
1. Take One Step Toward Creating an Analytics Roadmap
The first step towards accomplishing any goal is to take the first step. Have you ever had a project or goal that looks so massive that you don’t even know where to start? Creating an analytics roadmap can feel very overwhelming. You want to decide what to monitor, determine where the data is, make sure you have the right tools, and deal with all the personalities of the people that need to be involved. It’s no wonder so many projects fail before they even start. Then add to the fact you might have multiple tools like Cognos Planning Analytics, Cognos Analytics, Power BI, Excel….
But I’ll let you in a little secret. It only takes one step to start.
Yes, that is right! It is okay for your organization’s analytic journey to start with just you and a simple l idea to provide better insights.
The First Step
Let’s take the first step together. Grab a stack of sticky notes. Set a timer on your cell phone for 10 minutes. And for 10 minutes I want you to jot down one idea on each sticky note. Maybe you want an inventory dashboard to track shortages or maybe a headcount dashboard to deal with resource shortages. What ever pops in your head write it down. There are no stupid answers. Just let the ideas flow.
When you are done raise your right hand in the air. Reach behind your back and pat yourself on the back! You have officially taken the first step to creating your analytic roadmap without hiring expensive consultants.
2. Review Your Ideas
In step two we will review your ideas and prioritize them. The goal is to choose an item that will make the biggest impact to the organization. You could evaluate your analytic ideas considering several factors, but Lodestar Solutions has been implementing Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics solutions for decades and we have learned there are three major considerations that help determine which analytic initiative will have the biggest impact.
- How much money will the organization make or save by having visibility to this data?
- Does the company currently have the data necessary to monitor this analytic initiative?
- Will having visibility to this data help the organization accomplish their strategic goals?
When I work with our IBM Cognos clients to create their analytic roadmap, I have them score each idea 0-10 on each of the questions above. Then we add up the scores and the analytic idea with the highest number is a great place to start.
3. Identify Other Stakeholders
Now that you have narrowed your analytic ideas down, it is time to go find some allies. Successful analytic journeys almost always include stakeholders that are excited and have the power to make the vision of a dashboard, report, or scorecard a reality.
Therefore, you will want to grab a piece of paper and write down everyone that would benefit from having greater visibility to the analytics and data you are proposing for your first destination in your analytic roadmap. Once you have a list of people start reaching out to them and schedule a casual conversation. You want to listen more than you talk and ask them for their ideas on the analytic idea.
If you are an IBM Cognos or Planning Analytics user, we recommend you include the Cognos or Planning Analytics administrator on your list of people to contact. They can be a big ally for you if you ask for their ideas.
We are so proud of you. The fact you read this far tells us you are destined to become a great Analytic Leader. Here are a few resources you might want to check out.
How CEOs Can Lead a Data-Driven Culture by Harvard Business Review
If you need assistance or want to have someone help you facilitate discussions around your Analytic Roadmap, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am so excited for you to start your adventure. If you have tried to start and had a misstep, do not worry. Lodestar Solutions has your back! We are happy to discuss your specific journey and challenges.
Be sure to check out part 2 of this blog!