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TDWI FlashPoint: Exclusive Excerpt for The Modeling Agency Subscribers

We'd like to extend a special welcome to TMA's newsletter subscribers! Below, you'll find an excerpt from Tony Rathburn's recent TDWI FlashPoint article, published in the November 2014 issue.

Your Data Analytics Project Team: 5 Perspectives You Need to Deliver Value

By Tony Rathburn

As analytics becomes increasingly important to organizations, the role of the data scientist has emerged, an oversimplified job title if ever there was one. No individual possesses the complete set of skills necessary for a significant individual project, let alone the broad set of analytics opportunities within an enterprise.

Organizations that are successful in adopting analytics-based decision-making processes instead create data analytics project teams that bring together the skill sets necessary to complete projects. These teams represent five distinct perspectives on data analytics: project sponsor, domain, end user, IT, and quantitative.

The Project Sponsor Perspective

The role of project sponsor on a project team is to ensure that the project is defined and developed to deliver value to the organization by enhancing the decision-making process under analysis. In a modern organization, corporate-level strategy encompasses a complex set of often-conflicting objectives and performance metrics.

Data analytics is one of many ways to enhance business performance. An effective project sponsor focuses on identifying opportunities where data analytics has the potential to deliver both business value and a significant return on investment.

The Domain Perspective

Domain expertise is highly specialized and nuanced. The true domain experts in an organization have often immersed themselves in the specific decision process under review for many years.

The data utilized to develop our mathematical formulas provides a complex set of examples for our algorithms to learn from. It is critical that our domain experts participate in the development of our training data sets by capturing the true business nature of the relationships being evaluated.


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Distributed monthly via e-mail to thousands of BI/DW professionals, TDWI FlashPoint features unique how-to articles, key findings from TDWI Research, and tips on building and managing BI/DW teams. Written by TDWI Premium Members, fellows, and instructors, the focus is on timely BI and DW issues.

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About the Author

Tony Rathburn is a senior consultant and training director at The Modeling Agency, LLC. He is a frequent presenter at the TDWI Conferences and will be a speaker at TDWI Orlando, December 7–12, 2014.

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