Chris Brahm: The Last Mile of Analytics

The value realization gap is the disconnect between great analytical output and actual changed behavior. Chris Brahm, who leads Bain's global Advanced Analytics practice, outlines how enterprises need to prioritize “the last mile’’ of their process as they approach data analytics to achieve great results.

Read the Bain Brief: Closing the Results Gap in Advanced Analytics

Read the transcript below.

CHRIS BRAHM: Seventy percent of enterprises view advanced analytics as a critical strategic priority, but only 10% actually believe they're achieving anywhere near the full potential value of those analytics. What's the source of that value realization gap? Well, we believe one of the biggest sources that we see clients struggling with is the last mile. That is the gap between great analytic output and actual changed behavior that creates value in the enterprise—whether it's a frontline worker, a manager, or even a machine.

And there are many examples that we see out there. The retailer that has a sophisticated forecasting algorithm for the SKU mix and volume by location, and planners or buyers who override that, and you end up with flannel in Hawaii in the retail stores. Or a cybersecurity operation using software that shows security alerts, and they get overwhelmed by all the false-positive alerts that consume their time.

There are many examples of where great analytics, leading-edge analytics, don't generate value because you don't contemplate the last mile. And when it's done right, you begin with that last mile in mind. When you're designing the analytics, involving the customer of those analytics in that process, you think about the context into which those analytics are being put. Whatever incentive changes, training changes, how the analytic is presented, the visualization of it, the simplicity of it, et cetera—all those things are contemplated, and you prepare for adoption in the last mile. So the last mile is paved smoothly to results.

Read the Bain Brief: Closing the Results Gap in Advanced Analytics