How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants – Part 2

How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants. – Part 2
How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants. – Part 2
Written by Heather Cole, June 23rd, 2021

Are you ready to create your analytics roadmap?  Maybe you had a misstep in the past and are a little gun shy.  Well, have no fear, Lodestar is here.  Last week we shared with you how to create your analytics roadmap without hiring expensive consultants. Check out last weeks blog here.  This week we will take you through the next 3 steps to what Lodestar Solutions recommends for clients that want to start their analytic journey, but don’t have a budget to hire consultants.  These are the same steps we take our Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics clients through that need help creating their analytics roadmaps. 

4. Engage Data Experts

Engage with Data Experts

The one thing every analytics journey needs is good, clean data.  So, the next step is to find out who are the data experts in your organization and explain to them your idea.  Even if you know where the data is do not tell them you need access to a particular data source, rather ask them how they think you could get the data you need.  They are the keepers of the data.  You want to honor their role and that sometimes you do not know the best place to get the data.  Most organizations have data lakes, mart, source systems… all containing valuable information.  But only the data experts know where you should get the cleanest data.   

Want to know more about clean data?  Check out this Forbes blog The Death Of Dirty Data: The Importance Of Keeping Your Database Clean. 

5. Create a Pilot Plan for Your First Analytic Destination

Now that you have an idea of what challenge you are tackling with data and analytics, and you identified the stakeholders and data experts, it is time to create a plan to pilot your analytics idea.  The great thing is even if you do not own a robust Business Intelligence like Cognos or Planning software like IBM Planning Analytics today, you can do this in Excel.  I believe you need to work with what you have available to prove your theory.  If you have heard me speak, I often talk about the MacGyver approach to analytics.  Here’s a link to an earlier blog I wrote on the MacGyver approach, The MacGyver Approach to BI and Analytics when you have limited resources.

For IBM Cognos Planning Analytics Clients:  If you happen to own Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) you are set!  I love Cognos Planning Analytics for building your analytics pilot.  Cognos Planning analytics can bring in data from multiple data sources and allow you to model and report off the information.  The latest version of Planning Analytics (Workspace) even has dashboarding capabilities in IBM.  For more information on the latest version of Planning Analytics Workspace check out our blog, What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace Version 61 and 62. 

Planning Analytics Workspace

Regardless of the tool you are using, remember, this is a pilot.  As soon as you create your analytic dashboard, report or scorecard, someone will say, “can you have it do….”  But that is okay.  This is an agile process.  Your goal should be to create a deliverable that you can share with the stakeholders and get their feedback. 

6. Deploy For your First Analytic Destination on Your Roadmap

Now that you have a plan, it is time to deploy your plan and start your journey on your analytic roadmap.  It does not matter what tool you are using, whether it is in Excel, IBM Cognos Planning Analytics, or another tool, you must just start!  It will not be perfect, it will need modification, but you started!  And getting started is the first step in any journey. 

As a smart person once said (not me originally),

“You don’t have to be great to start.  But you have to start to be great!”

It is important to know that U-turns and rerouting during your journey is absolutely okay!  That is how we refine and improve.

7. Repeat Steps 1-6

Once you have accomplished steps 1-6, guess what?  It is time to celebrate and repeat the process with another analytic idea.  Like any good journey your analytic adventure will not just have one destination.  It will have many and like life will continue to evolve as your organization and the world changes. 

Need Help with Your Analytics Roadmap?

If you need assistance or want to have someone help you facilitate discussions around your Analytic Roadmap, reach out to me at

In Conclusion

I am so excited for you to start your adventure.  If you have tried to start and had a misstep, don’t worry.  Lodestar Solutions has your back!  We are happy to discuss your specific journey and challenges. 

We are hosting a complimentary webinar for you to ask questions.

How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants

Thursday June 24th, at 12:30 PM Eastern

To Register click here

In the How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants webinar I will share stories from decades of implementing analytic solutions including Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics.  I will also provide additional secrets to success to create your Analytics Roadmap.  

Building an Analytic Culture in Your Organization

After surveying a number of clients who had implemented BI software, I realized that very few had gained the momentum they wanted or needed for BI in their organizations.  In fact, a few companies had finance departments that stated they still had many manual processes that were painfully time consuming, but they didn’t see the business being willing or able to take advantage of robust reporting and Analytics.   Some even said their end users weren’t tech savvy, and wouldn’t use better tools and data.  So the question is, how do i build an Analytic Culture?

STOP IT!  Yes I am talking to you!  If you are reading this, you believe or care about getting Business Analytics to take off in your organization.  But you must first stop thinking that your business users are stupid.  Your organization doesn’t hire stupid people.  They hired you, remember?   I am officially nominating you to start the process of educating people on the power of Business Analytics.

Here’s the bottom line.  If your organization doesn’t start to educate everyone and start building a Business Analytics roadmap, your competitors will and are doing it now.   You will be left in the dust.

So, how do you get momentum in your organization?  The most important piece is the executive’s absolute commitment to Business Analytics, and willingness to do it correctly.  Take that smirk off your face…it can happen in your organization.  But it’s up to you to make it happen.

  1. First, you need to research and assess how Business Analytics can help your organization and focus on how it can help the executives drive the organization to reach the corporation’s goals.
  2. Next, create a webinar or lunch and learn program to present to the executives that educates them on Analytics.  Keep it brief and focused.  This should include case studies on how other companies have used Analytics and BI, and areas where your organization can benefit from it. Make sure you focus on how it can make and save the company money.  The purpose of this webinar/luncheon is to educate them and remove their fear for big data and Analytics, while planting a seed.You might want to also create separate events that are geared toward educating the various areas of the business on Analytics and BI.  Each of these presentations must be customized for the audience.
  3. Practice your presentation and make sure you are overly prepared.  This is your time to shine! I want you to be the leading educator of BA/BI in your organization.  This will give you tremendous exposure and help create the momentum you need to succeed.

If you need help creating and presenting the power of BA, Lodestar does offer coaching services that can help you and your organization create momentum and make you look like a rock star.