Are You Able to Predict?

4 minute read

Upland Admin

Spontaneity, unpredictability, extemporaneity are three words that could be used to describe my college days, recent vacations or maybe even what it’s like to play poker with me at the Bellagio. But those adjectives certainly shouldn’t be what describes your IT Department’s plans for 2015.

When a new year begins as it has at the moment, we start to think about plans, goals and expectations. We want to ensure that we don’t repeat any past mistakes from last year or any other year for that matter. I assume most of you would agree.  So what are you planning to do with your IT Initiatives for 2015?  Some of you may already have these baked into your budgets and feel it is just a matter of execution. Well, good for you if you’re one of those. That’s not the case for most out there. Ask yourself these questions: How will you keep those budgets on track?  How will you know if adjustments are necessary, by when and by whom?  Do you know what resource constraints you face?  How can you predict success? Or at least not fall into some terrible out of control project spiral?

Do I have your attention now?  You should pay attention to more of the details on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis to ensure that you, your team and your organization succeed.  Time spent now is of the essence.  Seize the day and put some resolutions in place to achieve at your business outcomes.  The right processes must be in place already in order for you to succeed.  Spontaneity may work for a scrambling quarterback after the designed play broke down on 4th down play and with the game on the line, but certainly it won’t be a formula for success in IT.

Here are some simple steps to take:

  • Use predictive metrics to alert and guide on the best course of action
  • Don’t rely on KPI’s using historical measures and consequently miss the opportunity to increase profit or prevent an unforeseen event, resulting in a decrease in profit. Rather, use historical measures to gauge business and process performance of the past
  • Use predictive risk metrics for mitigating and even preventing the impact of disruptive events on profitability.
  • Anticipate future events, forecast possible outcomes and make the decisions that translate into competitive advantage.

The “how” in using predictive analytics is most certainly still not clear to the eye as you read this blog. That’s most likely because most metrics we use only descriptive, not predictive. Many organizations are unable to identify the right information and use it effectively.  One reason for this is that most are drowning in data yet hungry the insights needed to more effectively drive business decisions and actions.  This same dilemma happens while trying to understand the difference between the value of an offering or service and the simple number of oriented facts and figures.

For example when one uses the data by itself, said data will be open to interpretation or it will need additional data to prove the proper relationship and expected outcome. Consider the following sequence of data: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 15, 24, and 39.  Perhaps some of the numbers are an anomaly and should be simply ignored or disregarded, or perhaps, every third term in the sequence is the sum of the previous two.  To prove or disprove any theory, you need visibility to the next several terms in the sequence.

The enterprise of the future will be more reliant on empiricism and analytical decision-making. It will be considerably different from today’s enterprise.  The acumen of being able to predict and use predictive analysis beyond those who use it today must be incorporated in every facet of business – from consumption usage, demand, supplier fulfillment and resource utilization to actual vs. budget vs. forecast and spending.

Some organizations may need a helping hand with real-time tracking of data value models and data quality metrics through third-party expertise or applications. Tools exist that are designed to enhance the effectiveness of IT Financial Management and can be a sound investment for those who need help achieving a more predictive modeling process. For example, having access to different graphic representations of the data is a powerful view of what’s to come in the future.

Those who can and know how to predict clearly and statistically have a competitive advantage over those that cannot. Why not hold that competitive advantage in 2015?

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