Posted by  Charles Clark  Published on  3 Feb 2014
  • Data Strategy

You would not be at fault for wondering what on earth ICE has to do with data management and analytics.

ICE – in data terms, relates to data that is integrated, cleansed and enriched. When it comes to grappling with analytics, data as a foundation is absolutely critical (“the ICE”), and most companies struggle and often end up posing the same question as the two young precocious cubs.

On a daily basis we are in constant dialogue with senior execs who are increasingly seeing analytics as a critical component of their future. They are constantly looking at ways to effectively exploit their data and by doing so accelerate how they innovate, increase their agility and exploit new markets by “knowing more”.

The main worry is that their current reporting and analytics (and internal skill set) is not effectively exploiting what is now a massively valuable, yet untapped asset. So why is it that, for the most part, BI and analytics solutions continue to fall short in their ability to unlock the value of a company’s data assets?

A common scenario which we witness frequently is that these leaders are attending many meetings and seminars with BI vendors and suppliers of analytics systems and tools who promise the world and what appears an easy fix. They enter into “proof of concepts” and demonstrations but none of them show they can actually deliver value and few, if any, acknowledge their own internal complexities and prove anything more than their code works in a laboratory environment.

Recently, I was with a senior exec of a FTSE 100 company and we were discussing his key business objectives and the challenges he’d identified in achieving these objectives.

The turning point in the meeting was the point at which I said to him “It is not all these fancy analytical applications and solutions you are after, it is a data platform that will form the basis of your analytics both now and into the future.

A data platform that gives you everything you need from a single environment to integrate, cleanse and enrich your data and then build whatever you need in the way of BI apps from the self-same platform. He immediately latched on to what I was saying and the fundamental question that was nagging him.

With all the time and money invested in multiple data management, cleansing, integration and BI systems, why is that he was still unable to exploit the value of the enormous volume of data the company stores and transacts every day?

Through our conversation, he could clearly understand the value of a single data management platform from which he could prepare analytics ready data – integrated, cleansed & enriched data – to then build out and support an ecosystem of integrated applications.

Conversations like this are not unique for us, we’re having them more and more as businesses become under increasing pressure to make decisions in real time using real-time data.

It is now time we listen to our clients and talk about data – most importantly, analytics ready data. You know, data that’s cool … served on ICE!