Know­ing what a pre­dic­tive matu­rity model is and imple­ment­ing it effec­tively are not exactly mutu­ally exclu­sive. Some­times, what we per­ceive to be small processes or obser­va­tions can have a huge impact. Con­versely, some busi­nesses will over­spend on resources but never gain the trac­tion they need to jus­tify the cost, or reach their full potential.

Sky­div­ing is a sub­ject often tossed around dur­ing bucket list con­ver­sa­tions. I am for­tu­nate to have checked that box.  This post isn’t about me brag­ging, but rather about how under­stand­ing the ana­lyt­ics matu­rity model and imple­ment­ing the knowl­edge you’ve gained from it can be a lit­tle like skydiving.

For my (cough, cough)th birth­day, my wife gave me the gift of sky­div­ing. Oh yes, I was going to 10,000 feet on the rocket ship of not get­ting older and then I was to step off into a freefall. This, to me, was the per­fect gift—unique and life affirm­ing. There was a small snag in the whole deal. I was not going to ride in a plane and I was not going to step off into any­thing except a tube. My wife had pur­chased a tube div­ing ses­sion for me. For the unini­ti­ated, this is noth­ing more than a ver­ti­cal tube with a huge fan beneath it. The fan is turned on and, whoosh, you’re sky­div­ing … 5 feet or so off the ground. In some ways, it is like raft­ing in a swim­ming pool.

The expe­ri­ence was still exhil­a­rat­ing and incred­i­bly unique. But why a tube? Why not a full-on plane expe­ri­ence? Why hadn’t my wife booked me on a mil­i­tary air­craft with a guy yelling “Go! Go! GO!”? The answer is, she wasn’t ready for me to jump out of a plane. I was rar­ing to go, but my wife was a lit­tle more prac­ti­cal about the propo­si­tion. This is pre­cisely how we, as ana­lysts, should be think­ing. Tak­ing things in incre­men­tal steps to build exec­u­tive con­fi­dence and trust while we learn the moves in a con­trolled envi­ron­ment is the way to go.

The very first step is to iden­tify your busi­ness’ readi­ness.  Are you ready to get the high-level, all-encompassing view of the land­scape from 10,000 feet, or should you start in the tube and learn some of the moves first? As it turns out, this is usu­ally one of the biggest chal­lenges in imple­ment­ing an ana­lyt­ics solu­tion in busi­ness. Find­ing your busi­ness’ readi­ness to take the big leap is the trick. Unfor­tu­nately, it is not always a process that is depen­dent on num­bers and results; emo­tion and trust are two key factors.

Over the next few weeks we will be dis­cussing how even com­pa­nies that are already using ana­lyt­ics can soar even higher. We will be dis­cussing new and improved tac­tics for pre­dic­tive ana­lyt­ics as well as tried and true best prac­tices and how to apply them to your business.

In the next few posts, we will look at sev­eral key steps in this process:

  • Ground School. The big push in Big Data is toward cus­tomer acqui­si­tion and con­ver­sion. Ana­lyt­ics offers much more how­ever. Before step­ping out into open air, iden­ti­fy­ing how you can stream­line your inter­nal oper­a­tions is a mas­sive step in the process to higher profit margins.
  • Fit­ness Train­ing. There is a weight limit to sky­div­ing. Not being lean and ready for the expe­ri­ence is sure to cause issues with land­ing. Much like get­ting into shape for sky­div­ing, exer­cis­ing the knowl­edge you’ve gained in small incre­ments and increas­ing your exer­cise reg­i­men is key to gain­ing real strength.
  • Into the Tube. Now it’s time to up the ante. At this stage, we’ll be look­ing at expand­ing ana­lyt­ics to cover more ground than pre­vi­ously thought pos­si­ble by your busi­ness’ exec­u­tives. By the time we’re in the tube, we will have had some mea­sure of cor­po­rate or high-level buy-in. As ana­lysts, this gives us a bit more lee­way to help our com­pany grow and become more prof­itable while try­ing maneu­vers under the watch­ful eye of the “higher ups.” By lis­ten­ing and imple­ment­ing their input, we can fur­ther refine our out­put to meet the company’s required needs.
  • Div­ing. We’re at 10,000 feet and ready to jump. We are finally using ana­lyt­ics to its fullest poten­tial and all of our train­ing and hard work are about to pay off. What was once con­sid­ered an odd­ity and mys­tic num­bers witch­craft is now looked upon by the exec­u­tives within your firm as some­thing indispensable.

How are we going to reach the goal of sky­div­ing? Check back often as we go through the process of gain­ing the trust needed to lever­age ana­lyt­i­cal processes in your busi­ness. In the mean­time, your home­work assign­ment is to eval­u­ate your company’s pre­dic­tive capa­bil­i­ties. Here’s an Adobe self-assessment tool to get you started.