Analytics & Innovation: The Missing Link

Making The Most of Analytics: Part 2

This blog is the second in a two-part series where we will discuss the process which organizations can use to jump start or resurrect their analytic ambitions to better achieve the potential benefits of analytics in their organization (If you missed Part 1, you can read it by clicking here). In this Blog we will review the last three phases of this 5 phase approach.

Every business can benefit from improved analytical capabilities – we all want to better understand our customers and employees, optimize operations, and make better decisions. But for many companies, analytics is easier said than done.

An Analytics Incubator process provides a jump start for analytic initiatives. It leads a company through the analytics process, from ideation, analysis and hypothesis creation to data visualization and storytelling. The Analytics Incubator process is a low risk, high speed path to achieving analytic results.

Often the issue is not the statistical or mathematical portion of analytics but rather the lack of creative ideas when it comes to thinking of ways to utilize analytics for the benefit of the organization. One of the greatest challenges for any organization is the ability to articulate an opportunity or challenge into an idea and then develop the idea into a hypothesis which can be tested. Understanding where and how to begin this process is key for getting the most out of your analytic initiatives.

In my last blog I reviewed the first 2 phases of the incubator process which were Ideation and Viability. Ideation is the initial phase of the process where ideas and concepts are generated and the second phase is Viability which determines the viability of the hypotheses developed in the ideation phase. At the completion of the first two phases we are ready to move forward armed with hypotheses about how we can improve performance, understand our customer, and reduce operational cost or any number of beneficial ideas. These thoughts now need to be put to the test which leads us to the next phases of the incubator process. I will cover those final 3 phases (Prototyping, Narrative & Evaluation) in my next blog. Summarized below are the last three phases of the incubator process:

3. Prototyping

In this step a proof of concept (POC) is developed to test the hypothesis / concept to provide supporting information for a go/no go decision as quickly as possible while building consensus for optimal solutions. A prototype also serves to provide specifications and requirements for a real, working solution rather than a theoretical one. This is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea.

  • Proof of Concept
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Accelerate Learning

4. Narrative

This is one of the most important steps of the process. Without this step, all the previous work may prove to be futile. This is the step in which the results of the previous work are communicated to senior management and the rest of the organization. It is important to be able to tell a compelling and persuasive story. We view this business storytelling as an organized methodology for communicating information insights, and it involves a combination of three key elements: The Data/Results, Visualizations and the actual Story or Narrative. It’s important that these different elements are combined and work together to tell a compelling story.

  • Data Visualization
  • Business Storytelling Ability

5. Evaluation

Decisions on where to invest the company’s resources to achieve an innovation have a major impact on the future competitiveness of an organization. Therefore, trying to get involved in the right projects is worth an effort, both to avoid wasting the company’s time and resources in meaningless activities, and to improve the chances of success. This phase of the incubation process is the evaluation stage which aims to analyze the results of incubation.

  • Assessment
  • Business Valuation


Our Analytics Incubator offering provides a jump start for analytics initiatives. It leads an organization through the analytics process, from ideation, analysis and hypothesis creation to data visualization and storytelling. The Analytics Incubator is a low risk, high speed path to achieving analytics results.

We provide the platform and capabilities, you provide the raw data and business challenge, and together we determine the potential ROI before proceeding with a full-blown analytics endeavor.