Learn about short-term and long-term goals for decision-making with data.

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Short-term goals

We should combine short-term analytics goals with a strategic picture of how analytics can be used to create business value. The organization’s strategic analytics framework and roadmap should include this strategic picture. Short-term goals and projects in analytics are important because they:

  • Build and/or improve the organization’s momentum as it starts or continues its analytics journey.

  • Validate the value of data analytics for the business.

  • Give us a chance to try out and quickly learn how analytics models and tools can be used in the organization’s context.

  • Confirm the business case for investing in analytical tools and platforms.

Short-term analytics goals and objectives shouldn’t take more than two to three months to implement, depending on the size of the organization and how easy it is to get the data. They may also need to use both structured and unstructured data.

Structured data is information that has been put into a set field in a file or record. Structured datasets are things such as the data in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or an Access database. Unstructured data, such as video, PDF documents, social media data, and emails, is not set up in a traditional database or spreadsheet format and may not be as easy to analyze (in comparison to structured data).

The majority of the data in the world is unstructured, and only a small portion of the data is structured. Some estimates say only about 20% of the world’s data is structured, while the rest is unstructured. An effective data strategy needs to use both structured and unstructured data to help make better-quality decisions and add value to the business.

Short-term goals and objectives for analytics can help answer more immediate questions, such as:

  • What are the most effective channels for driving customer growth?

  • Which one of my products makes me the most money?

  • How many people will my customer support team need next quarter?

  • How many customer questions should I expect to receive next quarter?

  • Who are my most important customers?

  • What is the average lifetime value of a customer?

  • Which of my products does social media talk about the most?

  • How many people visit our websites every month, and where do they come from?

Short-term analytics goals should use as much existing (internal or external) data as possible to get things done quickly and give the organization quick analytics wins. One benefit of a shorter horizon is that planning for the near future is easier and more accurate. It’s much easier to predict the near future and make plans than to plan things out a few years in advance.

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