Agile Project Management, Analytics Strategy

Analytics Project Life Cycle

Does Data Analytics projects end with the delivery of the project? Are there things that the project team need to consider after delivery? What is a Data Analytics project life cycle? Those were interesting questions which I have received through my blog question page in the past couple of weeks and thought to share with you some thoughts.

In my simplistic view I compare the Data Analytics project life cycle to the 4 seasons of the year (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter):

  1. Business Question (Spring):
    • Understand the need: Speak with the business and understand what is the business question the project is trying to answer.
    • Development: In this phase the team starts working on the analytics project which can be creating a model to optimise production across the world or having a dashboard with KPIs for example. Would suggest that Analytics projects run through an Agile methodology and that this phase includes testing as Agile goes through iteration.
  2. Move to production (Summer): After UAT is done, project moves to production and is live to be utilised by the business.
  3. Updates (Autumn): Given that business is not static and it is affected by ongoing market changes, there should be a team maintaining and supporting the projects after they are live and in production. Example of updates can be variables used in a model as economic factors which have changed for example. The project will age and the older the model the more the updates might be difficult and time consuming. This is when project moves to autumn and its leaves start falling.
  4. Replacement/Retirement (Winter): Business grows and market changes, updates are important but sometimes the whole model needs core replacement or it even needs to be completely retired as it is no more relevant. This should be part of what the Analytics team does in reviewing projects with the business. Reviewing projects to ensure compliance with up to date company strategy is crucial.

Those thoughts are based on my studies, reading and working in this area. What are your thoughts and experience? Exchanging experience helps us grow and learn, looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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