CoolData blog

7 February 2012

Figuring out what those poll results mean

Filed under: Analytics, predictive analytics — Tags: , — kevinmacdonell @ 1:04 pm

Last week’s poll (Where’s your institution on the Culture of Analytics Ladder?) had all the things I dislike about quickie online polls, including the fact that the respondents were self-selected, and it was open to anyone who stumbled upon it, including people with no connection to the field.

I don’t bother with polls very often, but hey, it’s my blog and I’ll poll if I want to. People DO like polls, even if we should take the results with a grain of salt.

The poll is still open, so you can go back to view up-to-date results anytime, but here’s the breakdown of the 81 responses received as of today. My thoughts about the results continue below …

These results do not distinguish between non-profits and higher-education institutions, nor between small and large organizations. We don’t know if respondents are managers or staff, or even if they understand the question. So … take this for what it’s worth.

Less than a fifth of people who viewed last week’s post opted to cast a vote. Of those who did, it does seem they were honest about their answers. I am not surprised that almost a third of respondents admitted that although they have data, no one in their organization knows how to analyze it. That is deeply unfortunate but it’s a fact.

Coming a near second are people who said that their analyst’s data insights support decisions only on an ad hoc basis. (Answer 6 includes organizations who may have contracted out for predictive model score sets, so these organizations may not even have analytics talent on staff.) And in third place are the people who said data analysis is a regular process, not ad hoc, but that the benefits are limited to just part of the organization.

What might be encouraging here is that almost three-quarters of respondents have the data they need and are somewhere along the path of becoming data-driven, even if they aren’t quite there yet. On the other hand, these are CoolData readers, so keep the bias in mind.

Then there are the eight people who claim that analytics has been wholly embraced by their organizations, from top to bottom and in all operational areas. I’d love for those people to come forward and identify themselves, because we could all learn from them. Email me!

1 Comment »

  1. Maybe you could have asked them to leave an email address during poll!

    Comment by cnukaus — 3 March 2012 @ 7:56 pm

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