Analytics: A ‘Doing’ Thing

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Analytics is a ‘doing’ thing   Analytics is something that is done.  It’s not a software product, an architecture, big data, a project, an organisation etc. etc.  You get the picture.  Of course all of these things can be something we need to do to enable analytics, but they’re just that; enablers. The sole objective […]

Analytics is a ‘doing’ thing

 
Analytics is something that is done.  It’s not a software product, an architecture, big data, a project, an organisation etc. etc.  You get the picture.  Of course all of these things can be something we need to do to enable analytics, but they’re just that; enablers.

The sole objective of anything related to analytics is having some person actually doing some analysis of a situation; exploring ideas, testing hypotheses and coming up with insights that guide action.
 

Show me the action!

I shape Business Intelligence solutions in response to a client’s need – and my favourite thought is ‘Show me the action?’  Show me where the actual analysis happens – the insight, the value?

The BI market sometimes drives a misconception, read most of the promotional material and it seems that it’s all about product.  This is rather like the luxury goods market, confusing the item with the outcome….  “if you have this very expensive watch, then you’ll be happy, look!”…..  If you have this fancy software / architecture / consulting partner…. Then you’ll have some analytics going on,  This is incorrect.
 
To illustrate the point I’m going to borrow from my friend Arunsankar, a football enthusiast and data scientist.  Using free data and MS Excel* he derives some really interesting insights into the English Football League.  Of course he also has domain knowledge, creativity, and an analytic mind… 
 

Some Football Analytics*

Jose Mourinho said “Two horses and a little horse in the race”.  Manuel Pellegrini responded “Little, but Rich horse”. Are they joking? Managers of two heavyweight teams formed on millions of pounds are fighting over financial mediocrity!  Let’s figure out the real situation by analyzing the cost incurred in assembling the Premier League’s top 7 clubs. 
 

Can Man United afford not to be in Champion’s League next year?
  
 
The cheapest 11 players of Chelsea’s and Manchester City’s squad cost more than Liverpool’s average cost of the overall squad. 
Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal rely more on players signed from youth academy or on loan relatively.

And looking at cost by player position:

1. Arsenal are an anomaly, the only team to spend most on midfielders and the same on forwards as on their defenders…

2. Strangely, the leaky Manchester United defense has the highest cost per player across the top 7 clubs.

The moral of the story…

1.    It’s the doing that counts….  With simple products analytics can become a reality – software, transformation programs and big data architecture, are all enablers, but don’t mean any analytics will actually happen.

2.    The people aspect is critical.  It’s about the motivation, skills, culture…  Having talented people like Arun with a passion for what they’re doing.

3.    Arsenal really do buy too many ‘tricky’ midfielders… You’ve got the hard evidence now…
 
 
*Reproduced and abridged with consent of arunsankar.kumarakurubaran@capgemini.com from http://eplstatistics.wordpress.com

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Analytics is a ‘doing’ thing

 Analytics is something that is done.  It’s not a software product, an architecture, big data, a project, an organisation etc. etc.  You get the picture.  Of course all of these things can be something we need to do to enable analytics, but they’re just that; enablers.

The sole objective of anything related to analytics is having some person actually doing some analysis of a situation; exploring ideas, testing hypotheses and coming up with insights that guide action.
 

Show me the action!

I shape Business Intelligence solutions in response to a client’s need – and my favourite thought is ‘Show me the action?’  Show me where the actual analysis happens – the insight, the value?

The BI market sometimes drives a misconception, read most of the promotional material and it seems that it’s all about product.  This is rather like the luxury goods market, confusing the item with the outcome….  “if you have this very expensive watch, then you’ll be happy, look!”…..  If you have this fancy software / architecture / consulting partner…. Then you’ll have some analytics going on,  This is incorrect.
 
To illustrate the point I’m going to borrow from my friend Arunsankar, a football enthusiast and data scientist.  Using publicly available data and MS Excel he derives some really interesting insights into the English Football League.  Of course he also has domain knowledge, creativity, and an analytic mind… 
 

Some Football Analytics*

Jose Mourinho said “Two horses and a little horse in the race”. Manuel Pellegrini responded “Little, but Rich horse”. Are they joking? Managers of two heavyweight teams formed on millions of pounds are fighting over financial mediocrity! Let’s figure out the real situation by analyzing the cost incurred in assembling the Premier League top 7 clubs. 
 

Can Man United afford to not be in the Champion’s League next year?
 
 
 
The cheapest 11 players in Chelsea and Manchester City squads cost more than Liverpool’s average cost of the entire squad. 

Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal rely more on players signed from youth academy or on loan relatively.

And looking at cost by player position:

1. Arsenal are an anomaly, the only team to spend most on midfielders and the same on forwards as on their defenders.

2. Strangely, the leaky Manchester United defense has the highest cost spent player across the top 7 clubs.

The moral of the story…

1.    It’s the doing that counts….  With simple products analytics can become a reality – software, transformation programs and big data architecture, are all enablers, but don’t mean any analytics will actually happen.

2.    The people aspect is critical.  It’s about the motivation, skills, culture…  Having talented people like Arun with a passion for what they’re doing.

3.    Arsenal really do buy too many ‘tricky’ midfielders… You’ve got the hard evidence now…
 
 
*Reproduced and abridged with consent of arunsankar.kumarakurubaran@capgemini.com from http://eplstatistics.wordpress.com

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