____Posted Tuesday April 18, 2017 ____


Book Review

Experts Offer Insights into Managing for Data Mining Project Success

Book summary for Jeff Deal and Gerhard Pilcher book; Mining Your Own Business

Data mining and predictive analytics can pump new life into businesses and organizations and create new opportunities for growth. But it has to be done right and vested with top management support if it is to achieve the desired success.

Harnessing the power of data, is easier if the management team learns enough about analytics to hire good people, manage projects carefully, and then design and deploy the solutions that come out of data mining projects with a steady sure hand, and a commitment to their success.

Data science and big data aren’t silver bullets that magically slay dragons and vampires. There are key facts, decisions, and clear directions that are needed in order to be successful.

Here are four of their key recommendations:

Choose the Right Project

Decide what problems to solve. Identify a narrowly defined problem that is widely acknowledged within the organization as a major point of pain. Ask “what forces impact the organization that need to be understood better? What issues need to be resolved?

Select a project that allows you to prove the value of data analytics and get people on board about its benefits.

Use it to demonstrate to all levels of management that the benefits of data analytics merit the required investment of time, money, and emotional energy.

Start Small

Walk before you run. Run before you fly. Don’t push ahead too fast.

Pursue a data analytics initiative carefully, with proper planning and organizational buy-in. Build small successes one project at a time, consistent with a vision that has realistic and manageable goals.

Build on experience steadily. Have a clear steady focus and a narrow scope will help secure stakeholder buy-in and lead to a successful project outcome.

Acquire Strong Leadership & Management Commitment

Make sure strong leadership is identified, and fully vested with the power, authority and resources needed, and has the full support, commitment, and buy-in of every appropriate key decision maker.

Data mining projects take some time to staff up, get new data analytic systems in place, analyze the data, and create the recommendations required. In one example management had to invest funds into the project for four months before any new revenues began to materialize. The figure below illustrates the costs and benefits of the first ten months of this type of program.

Strong leaders must demonstrate patience and perseverance to champion the project. Time, money, personnel and resources must be maintained so that the project can stay on course, and successfully produce the success that is desired.

Engage the Stakeholders to Embrace the Change

Anticipate the changes that data mining will bring. Cultivate an organizational culture that embraces data analytics.

Engage people in the development of the analytic plan, in the setting of goals, and allow them to identify how they need to adjust to the new perspectives they gain as the project delivers new insights and actionable intelligence.

Empower the people who are affected by data mining project recommendations to be part of the processes and change management that will be required to implement the recommendations and realize value from the results.

Whatever a business is struggling with – you can reboot your perspective, and retool your organization to make beneficial use of the valuable data that your business has acquired. Do it right and you’ll empower your people and create more energy and drive to push you towards a new future for your organization.

Business Book

Mining Your Own Business
A Primer for Executives on Understanding and Employing Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

List $19.95
Foreword by Eric Siegel
Trade soft cover and ebook
184 pages 6 x 9 in.
ISBN: 978-0-9967121-0-1
Published by Data Science Publishing

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