Think clean data is the blocker to your AI/Data Science initiative? Try people.

Rows of colorful soaps

A few years ago when I started DFA, I wrote this article that aggregates many of the studies on failure rates for big data, analytics, and now AI projects. It serves as a reminder that you can keep throwing money at data projects, but if you don’t focus on the people involved, you can easily … Read more

Analytics Translators = Data Product Management + Service Design?

Bridge to island

There’s a lot of buzz about analytics translators these days. In general, I find the name to be a really poor choice for what effectively is a product management role applied to internal data science or analytics services. But, I think the skills are really important. The question is, do you really need another role/headcount, … Read more

How do you make data products and services engaging without AI and advanced analytics?

Stressed office worker at laptop.

Low engagement; it’s a common challenge for many of my clients and the people I talk to in the analytics world. In fact, it’s the subject of my talk this year at the IIA Symposium next week. One of the concepts with design I like clients to think about with analytics is around whether your … Read more

Is an engineering or data-driven culture driving your current data product or analytics initiative toward risk?

Check engine light on car dashboard illuminated

Here are (25) design faults that should trigger the check-engine light I really don’t know much about cars. Furthermore, with all the computers on them now, I probably never will. However, I do care when the “CEL” goes on. The CEL, or check-engine light, is that often cryptic, blood-pressure-raising notification that mostly just makes you … Read more

Why Low Engagement May Not be the Problem With Your Data Product or Analytics Service

Engagement Rings

If you’re concerned about low engagement with your enterprise data product, analytics service, or decision support tool, then you might be focusing on the wrong problem. What you need to do is design an engaging experience, instead of focusing on the quantity of engagement. Gartner just posted new numbers in early 2019; once again, 80% … Read more

Keeping Analytics Solutions in Check with Customer Needs

Toy men assembling something with frustration

AI and Machine Learning Are Not a Panacea for Underused Analytics Services Ears, Eyes and Empathy Guide the Best MVPs Since AI, predictive, and prescriptive analytics are big right now, there is a tendency for companies to “want” to use this technology and throw it into their marketing jargon as well. Boards and executives are … Read more

Designing MVPs for Data Products and Decision Support Tools

Rough prototype of a miniature car powered by a AA battery

Author’s Note: This article was originally published to my mailing list, hence the reference to previous emails and published podcast episodes.   Before I jump into this week’s article on MVPs for custom data products, just wanted to address one listener’s response to the new podcast in case others had the same experience. Re: the audio … Read more

Does your data product enable surgery, or healing?

Scalpels for surgery

I recently started playing percussion in a new Celtic ensemble in Boston called Ishna, and we were recently invited to be a guest artist with Symphony NH (New Hampshire). After our concerts concluded, the executive director invited Ishna to a dinner with some of the symphony staff and  board members. This is pretty typical: board members … Read more