Culture in Analytics

Business Intelligence is an exciting, young, growing field.  Much has changed over the past ten years.  Even more has stayed the same.  Datawarehouses were designed to meet system constraint needs from the early 80's, yet those needs are still relevant today.  Often over the years I have seen what I call "A Romantic Illusion" in BI.  People mistakenly believe, often because well-funded marketing departments are very good at selling the story, that software will solve their problems.  It is a "Romantic Illusion" because it IS  true that you need software, tools/applications/servers, etc. to fix many of your problems, but the fallacy comes when software is a super-hero on its' own.

Recently Mark Cuban made a prediction that someday software would develop itself, that programmers would be out of a job.  That may happen, however, even that prediction as radical as it sounds can't happen without people making it happen.  Even in Infrastructure-as-a-service scenarios human talent is still required to successfully deliver.

That is why the last two paragraphs of this article are so compelling.

Not surprisingly, representatives from more than 200 colleges have visited GSU in the past two years to try to copy the secret sauce. Renick says he tells them not to be distracted by the computer part of the equation. "Some campuses get fixated on the coolness of analytics," he says. "Unless you have the commitment to staff, organize and deploy the kind of resources that students will need in a timely way, this won't work."

As cool as the computer is, and a shiny as the new analytic tools are, as alluring Big Data is...at the end of the day don't forget the people that make it happen.  As Peter Drucker once said, "Culture eats strategy for Breakfast."

Culture is a product of the people making things happen everyday.  People make BI and Analytics meaningful.