Admittedly, we’ve been working on this content for quite some time and have struggled to know when to post it.   We knew that non-technical leaders understanding a handful of technical concepts related to analytics was valuable.  But, struggled to answer the age-old question “Why is it valuable…now?”


We could have never predicted that COVID-19 would be the reason for us pushing ‘go’ on this series.  We’ve seen massive organizations turn on a dime, pivot to quickly adopt new business models, and accomplish a majority of what they set out to do in 24 months… in 24 hours.  With this newfound level of performance, organizations are beginning to ask themselves:


How can I sustain an environment of agility and innovation in the next normal?

Fostering an agile environment was at the core of a recent McKinsey & Company article where they recommend companies take a closer look at their analytics discipline. “Agility is just a word if it isn't grounded in the discipline of data. Companies need to create or accelerate their analytics capabilities to provide the basis for answers - and, perhaps as important, allow then to ask the right questions.”


Accelerating your analytics capabilities means you are going to need to make some very strategic decisions… fast. 

Decision-making processes typically include a research stage where you clearly identify the problem you are trying to solve, an exploratory stage where you evaluate options, and a decision stage where you select the best option and begin considering how to implement and manage the change. These are likely done cross-functionally and, if it includes software, has a reliance on IT.


We aren’t saying that you won’t go through these stages or not need to include IT in your decisions. What we are saying is that you will need to go through them even faster and have additional technical chops to make sure you are tracking with IT leadership and picking the best solution for your business. 


That’s why we are bringing you “Technically, What You Need to Know About Analytics – a Guide for Non-Technical Leaders” now. 

Our intention here is to distill the most key and influential technical concepts to assist you as you make analytics strategy decisions. 

In closing, please know that we are always here to help.  Drop us a note or subscribe to these blogs to make sure you are in the loop on the latest in this series.


Now, let's get ready to nerd out.



Technically, What You Need to Know About Analytics

A Guide for Non-Technical Leaders


Data Structure: De-Mystifying OLTP vs OLAP

Ever needed to run two reports and build a pivot table to complete your analysis? This is due to the way your data is structured and stored in your source system. Let’s de-mystify this irritation and talk about ways to fix it.


Integrations: The E in E-T-L

Not all integrations are the same! There are several reasons why systems need to integrate and an equal number of ways they can integrate. We’ll simplify it  into some of the most common ways we experience data integrations. 


From Data Integration to Data 

While the extraction step is valuable, it does not mean the data is usable. We’ll cover the final two letters, transformation and loading, in this post.


Turning Data into Insights

It's likely youve heard the terms “Data Warehouse” and “Data Lake” thrown around. But, whats the difference? And, more importantly, how do you decide what is right for your organization? We'll break down the differences and use cases for each.


To Build... Or to Buy an Analytics Platform

Here are the facts: 85% of analytics projects fail to move past preliminary stages and 87% of data science projects never make it into production (Gartner). So, how do you end up being in the 13-15%? You make the right decision when it comes to building versus buying. Learn more in this post.


Check back for additional topics soon!


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Originally published July 22, 2020.

Written by Jana Fuelberth

Spend about 15 minutes with me and you’ll learn that ‘nerd’ is a term of endearment for me. That’s why I love how much ‘nerding out’ goes on at My biggest passion is helping people and organizations unlock potential they never expected. Outside of the office? You’ll probably find me doing something active or for my beloved, Butler Bulldogs.