Ahhh, the annual resolutions list! A time-honored tradition when we all look at the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start.

res·o·lu·tion
ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
synonyms: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan, commitment, pledge, promise

Sometimes these are crafted during the last couple of weeks of December. Some industrious folks keep track over the entire year and have their list up-to-date and ready for the first business day of January.

As we move into the new year, there are plenty of opportunities for the technologists leading and supporting analytical environments to bring new perspectives and new opportunities to their activities. Whether it is catching up on the change backlog for updating existing analytical environments or building new ones, or empowering business stakeholders with the right tools to make them successful, resolutions help align the promise of the new year with the challenges of the previous one.

Here are few resolutions that will provide guidance for anyone looking for a starting point on their analytical resolutions for 2017:

Utilize Automation and DevOps for Your Analytics Environment(s)
There’s a LOT of work to be done and doing it all by hand is no longer an option. You need to integrate automation and DevOps strategies into your implementation of analytical environments. This automation can be scripting, DevOps tools, or a committed database/data warehouse environment. But getting in front of the changes to analytics environments is key to maintaining/developing competitive advantage.

Empower Your Organization to be Analytically Curious
It might sound strange, but you need to empower your organization to be analytically curious. Some employees might not be interested. Others might not know how to take the plunge. You need to allow, empower, and encourage all employees to test the waters of the data within your organization. While technologists prefer to have set requirements, business stakeholders need to be encouraged to dive into the pool of available data and allowed to discover how the data can used to improve the business.

Prepare for New Data and New Data Types
Big data isn’t going away. In fact, numerous data formats and platforms supporting those data types are going to continue to enter your business and your data center. Be ready when the business stakeholders in your organization want and need new sources of information. Being able to say yes will make your business ready when others are not.

Steel Yourself and Your Environment for Streaming
IoT sensor data and streaming information from various applications around your business are going to push your business analysts and your technologists to the limit. That data is going to start flowing and won’t stop. Operations and analysts in the business will need to understand the “flow” of data and how they can’t watch it all in real-time for operational visibility and data discovery. Technologists will need to understand how to capture the data and have it ready when the businesses want to see the historical view. Aggregates may not be enough. They may need to see event-level data going back to the start of the flow, or at least until they understand what those aggregates truly mean.

Push Analytics into Your Operations
Embedding analytics into your operational applications will allow for the continued distribution of data into your organization, and involve all employees (not just those with access to analytical applications like data visualization) with data-based decision making. Don’t make employees swivel between different applications or screens to make a decision. Put the data-driven analytics directly into your operational processes to make the best decisions regarding inventory management, customer cross-sell/upsell, and risk management.

Best of luck with your set of resolutions for 2017 and keeping those resolutions well past the start of Spring!