Analytical Reports

Analytical Reports

Informational and analytical reports each have a specific planning process to allow the writer to demonstrate an understanding of a business problem. This lesson explains the differences between the two reports.

Ironically, the analytical leaders spend as much time discussing how to manage people, projects, and processes as they do technology and architectures, which they view as enablers. Specifically, Tim Leonard emphasizes the need to understand the business and talk its language, while Dan Ingle focuses on building applications quickly through agile development approaches. Others, including Darren Taylor and Amy O'Connor, underscore the importance of obtaining strong executive sponsorship, while Kurt Thearling and others emphasize the need of getting a quick win to establish credibility and momentum for an analytics program. And every analytical leader emphasizes the importance of curating data and moving beyond insights to action.

Change management. Analytics requires both strong analytical leaders and executives who are willing to make a long-term commitment to its success. Analytics is not a one-time project; it's a program -- or as some say, a journey that requires a long-term investment of time, money, and expertise. It requires organizations to treat data as a corporate asset and invest in building an analytical infrastructure. Moreover, it requires workers to change the way they view and manage data, and frame and make decisions. This involves changing core processes as well as modifying individual and group habits, which is hard to do. Ultimately, as Amy O'Connor emphasizes, analytics is an exercise in change management.

Steps to Success

Analytical Framework
Figure 5-1. Analytical Framework: This framework highlights the major areas required to run a successful analytics program.

To succeed with analytics, organizations need the right culture, people, organization, architecture, and data. (See Figure 5-1.) This is a tall order....

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