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The Obstacles to #Analytics Success | @CloudExpo @Zoho #BigData #AI #ML

Why do companies fail in their attempts to adopt big data analytics, and what can they do to improve their chances?

Identifying the Obstacles to Analytics Success
By Sridhar Iyengar, VP, Product Management, ManageEngine

For those of us in IT management, analytics is a familiar topic with a familiar value proposition. But for many organizations, success with IT analytics is less familiar. Why do so many fail in their adoption attempts? And how can you avoid failure and embrace success? As we'll see below, the problems usually boil down to products, people and processes.

Overabundance of analytics tools.
Simply put, there are too many tools to choose from. The overabundance of tools complicates our decision about which tool will adequately and reliably meet our needs. Going through the implementation cycle with each tool being considered usually isn't feasible, yet the only way to know if a tool is going to work for you is to put it to work.

Abundance of analytics tool categories.
Related to the sheer number of tools is the number of tool categories in the analytics tool market, such as:

  • Dashboard tools that focus on presenting information at a high level for end users.
  • ETL tools that extract data in various formats and transform it in a meaningful format for analysis and presentation.
  • Streaming data tools that assume data is coming in at the high volumes and high rates of speed associated with big data.
  • Statistical modeling tools that perform predictive analysis and slice-and-dice data.
  • Self-service analytics tools, an emerging class of software that lets regular, non-expert end users explore data, look for patterns, run what-if scenarios and create dashboards.

Of course, IT pros might not be familiar with any of the tool categories above - unless they are data experts. But if you don't know the categories, it can take a long time to figure out what your organization, department or end users need. And those needs can vary by department, team and end user.

Silos stifle analytics
Organizational departments tend to work in silos. Each team has its own isolated data set that is not shared with other internal teams or departments. Consider a customer who interacts with a company's pre-sales, marketing, sales, and support teams over the course of a year. If the teams don't see each other's customer data, nobody has a holistic view of the customer. It's very difficult to correlate the teams' disparate data sets and present an account manager or other manager with an end-to-end view of the customer. As a result, the company is missing a big chance to improve its internal processes as well as its customer service.

Executive sponsorship error
For most internal analytics projects, you need an executive to back the project and secure the budget, people and resources to make it happen. Without an executive sponsor, the project will fall through. If the team tasked with setting up the analytics solution fails to hit key milestones on time, the sponsor may lose interest. Whoever is championing the analytics strategy must keep the sponsor updated and provide visibility into the project and its progress. Similarly, the champion must convince the sponsor that the analytics project is a must-have - rather than a nice-to-have - technology, otherwise it will get cut the next time the company is looking for ways to reduce costs.

Metrics mistakes
Some metrics look good on paper but have little value or significance. Take gross sales, for instance. While the number itself may be impressive, it ignores sales-related expenses and gives little indication of a company's fiscal health or profitability. Such metrics are known as "vanity metrics," and you don't want to measure them. At the executive level, picking the "right metrics" usually boils down to industry. As an example, the industry-specific metrics associated with a retailer might include categories such as apparel, shoes and accessories as well as store location. In addition to that data, retail executives might want a simple dashboard that shows sales distribution and the percentage of sales online vs. in store.

Misunderstood users
Not every user is looking for the same kind of analysis, dashboards or reports. And not every user is a data expert. That means the analytics tool has to be easy to customize, implement and use. You want a non-expert user to be able to quickly and easily customize it themselves rather than relying on third parties, either in-house analytics pros or external consultants. With such a flexible tool, analytics teams can be agile and turn around new reports, analyze data in new and different ways, and they can do it fast.

To accommodate the wide range of user types, an analytics tool should support different data types or formats and ingest and correlate multiple data sets. And regardless of the user's skill level, it should let users create dashboards and reports as well as visualize and present data in their preferred view such as a pie chart or bar chart.

The challenges above constitute common roadblocks to the analytics success. By recognizing the challenges and avoiding the mistakes others have already made, you improve your odds of an analytics implementation that gives your organization what it needs and your users what they want.

As first published in The Var Guy.

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Sridhar Iyengar is vice president, product management, at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corp. For more information on ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, please visit www.manageengine.com; follow the company blog at http://blogs.manageengine.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ManageEngine and on Twitter @ManageEngine. Follow Sridhar on Twitter @iSridhar.

Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with 20th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
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@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2017 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

Sponsors of Internet of @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
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  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 75,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

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(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

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Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

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@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Our Top 100 Sponsors and the Leading "Digital Transformation" Companies

(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

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More Stories By ManageEngine IT Matters

ManageEngine believes IT management can be simple and affordable. Our authors share insights and how-to tips for SMBs and large enterprises. Over 120,000 companies around the world – including three of every five Fortune 500 companies – trust our products to manage their networks, data centers, business applications, and IT services, and security. We take a straightforward, customer-centric approach to IT management software. Our customers' needs drive our product philosophy. And we've built a strong, in-house R&D team to support our product team and turn customer requests into product realities. We look forward to hearing from you.

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