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Can a business analyst use the tool to do analysis? Data Integration Does system support native connectors to unstructured and semi-structured data sources e.
Does it support flexible partitioning of the data so that it is easy to work with large amounts of data? Does the solution support streaming of data so that users will have the most current data?
Does the solution provide data quality functions so that the data can be quickly normalized and transformed? Analytics Does the solution provide an intuitive environment e.
Does the solution include pre-built analytic functions? Does the system provide a preview to validate analysis and show data lineage for auditing data flows?
Do data models have to be defined before insights can be gained? Do analysts need to know what they want to do before they have had a chance to look at the data?
Or can analysts look at the data, iterate, make the changes they need and analyze without involving IT? Visualizations Does the solution support complete freeform visualization? Or is it just a combination of reports and dashboards? Integration with existing IT infrastructure Does the solution support import from and export into other BI systems? Research and case studies indicate the industry has benefited from these capabilities; however, data initiatives many times require significant time and financial investments.
Yet many projects are not supported by a business case, the necessary skills and talent or companies struggle with where and how to get started. Many organizations struggle with: Defining the business objectives and expected outcomes How to define success Understanding the every changing sources and profiles of data Moving from traditional methods of analysis to convergence of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive methods Determining the relevance of data and corresponding sources to support the converged business analytics Defining the frequency and relevance of data What technology methods and tools to leverage One could say this is true of any new business and technology project; however, the speed in which data is generated and technology capabilities become more sophisticated and advanced it can quickly become an overwhelming initiative.
So, lets look at leveraging a practical view of Decision Science to make better decisions as you move forward in defining and implementing Business Analytics and Big Data capabilities into your insurance operations. Published: March, Page 1 provides a nice overview of where we are, and we are headed with decisioning supported by business analytics.
Decision science can be thought as the logical extension of the three major perspectives: descriptive, predictive and prescriptive. If we look at the evolution of Decision Science coupled with the growth in new data sources such as social media, data on mobile devices and the various unstructured data sources in the insurance industry we have a convergence Figure 1 happening in business analytics.
Without these being established at the beginning, the ability to measure success or failure can be a moot point. This is accomplished through following a Decision Science Process and Checklist.
Decision Science Process and Checklist There needs to be a method to the madness as they say, as is true for any technology, process or strategic initiative. Decision science is better applied when theres a process and the process is followed. It could be a process thats worked before, or is a combination of agile, lean software development or standard solution development lifecycle.
The process needs to incorporate necessary checkpoints and steps as follows: Activity Project Initiation a. Decision Science minded thinkers resources that can define the models design, development Page 2 Infinilytics, Inc. Subject matter experts your SMEs resources that are knowledgeable of the current business capabilities and short-comings in current methods. Data Scientists with skills ranging from traditional business intelligence to ad hoc analysis through advanced analytics with structured, unstructured and social media data analysis.
Evaluate Sourcing Alternatives for Capabilities and Skills such as: Data Science as a Service There are technology vendors that provide data scientists to augment current analytics teams to design develop and implement Big Data platforms and Visualization.
Additionally, they have skills to create domain specific metadata and data dictionaries to extract deeper insights from data and to evaluate and recommend build versus download options for a lower TCO and faster ROI.