uGovernIT

A Practical Approach for IT Governance

The Importance of Analytics – A Personal Story

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Many, particularly in the IT leadership field, fail to see the importance of IT analytics. They see the importance of Analytics for the business, but not for IT. This is particularly true for the Small to Mid-Sized firms. At first glance, IT Analytics may seem to be an overkill. However, the basic principles of management theory suggest that you cannot manage what you cannot measure.

I did a small personal experiment to verify the importance of measurement. I love to walk, so I wear a pedometer watch. I had a personal goal of at least 20,000 steps a day. Over two years, I kept track of the number of steps I walk on a weekly basis. A small footnote: I walk over 150,000 steps a week, more than double the recommended metric of walking 10,000 steps a day. Week after week the variance was within 10%. My job keeps me on the phone at least 2 hours a day, and I walk and talk.

One week, I stopped looking at the measurements. I was still measuring the steps I walked, but simply did not observe it on a daily basis. The average steps had dropped almost 50%! Elementary statistics tells us that there could have been other confounding factors such as a trip, weather, health etc. While all these factors were not prevalent that week, the fact that it dropped 50% gave an opportunity for me to appreciate the importance of measurement. The goal of at least 20,000 steps a day had driven me to walk, and without measurement, motivation of reaching that goal had waned.

Managing IT is a lot more challenging than one simple metric. IT leaders have to device those metrics that motivate the department to achieve. Please refer to an earlier blog post on IT Analytics. This blog post may serve as a starting point for developing meaningful IT Analytics.

Written by Subbu Murthy

August 14, 2016 at 11:05 am

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