We know implementing AI and analytics is hard and that getting value out of your analytics initiatives can be even more difficult. Our perspective is that these challenges can be better addressed from the start – “first-mile” analytics.

We focus on asking the tough questions upfront to dig into whether your organization is really prepared and ready to start their analytics journey. We’ve seen many companies get swept up by the opportunities and possibilities that AI, machine learning, and broader analytics can bring – we get excited too! But we also know that without assessing your readiness upfront, organizations can burn through not only budget but importantly the curiosity and engagement from colleagues without realizing the meaningful benefits they expected.

This readiness assessment includes technical and data readiness, as well as cultural and organizational. From a technical and data perspective, it’s important to evaluate whether you have the data needed to execute your priority use cases. It’s also important to understand and plan for implementation and monitoring of your initiatives to ensure you realize the benefits of your work. From a cultural and organizational perspective, you need both sponsorship from the top – a clear prioritization and messaging from senior leadership that AI and analytics is critical to the future of the organization – as well as an understanding of the level of openness and change readiness across the organization to innovations and new ways of doing things. Executive sponsorship is critical and necessary. So is finding a curious and engaged group of end users who are excited to try new things and will both provide crucial feedback on your use cases and be your first to adopt and evangelize.

Without evaluating your readiness and determining if you have the right foundation in place to be successful, you will likely end up with a disengaged workforce who sees this as one more corporate initiative that failed and an executive team frustrated with spending precious budget and resource capacity and seeing no results.

This is why “first-mile” analytics is so critical. Ask the tough questions upfront. Evaluate your readiness. Plan accordingly. Then, and only then, start on your AI and analytics journey.