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October 2016, Volume 4, Number 5

Three steps to ponder for your first cloud-based analytics project

As with any data analytics project, cloud-based analytics requires asking the tough questions about data: How much do you capture? What do you keep and for how long? What do you filter out? For some, casting a wide net and filtering later is easier and worth the extra storage costs. For others, examining data for usefulness as it's presented may constitute a leaner alternative. Either way, great data does not guarantee great cloud analytics. Ponder these three points as you venture into your first analytics project in the cloud. 1. Focus on the business goal. In their book Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris stressed that analytics is a business initiative, not a technological one. Figuring out what you can extract from existing data is less likely to advance the business than specifying what the company needs to know and determining what data is required. 2. Choose carefully. "The more [data] you have, the less valuable it becomes," said Simon James, global performance ...

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