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Using Data Analytics to Improve Project Outcomes: Tips & Advice

The use of analytics in business has blossomed with the growth of the internet and digital technologies. Now there is software designed to track everything, from sales and customer engagement, to the pathways that lead consumers to businesses, to how the public reacts to different forms of marketing and even specific elements of content.

Data analytics can be used on both a small and a large scale to provide all kinds of extremely useful information to organizations. However, big data is about more than just analyzing what your company has accomplished – it can also be used in a predictive capacity to plan for future growth and success.

When used appropriately, analytics can provide the information needed to improve project outcomes and reduce risk factors, not only at the outset, but during any stage of the life cycle. The ability to revisit big data use cases can provide insight into the problems that lead to failure and, ultimately, help to make efforts more productive. Here are a few tips for using data analytics to improve project outcomes.

Risk Assessment

There are any number of areas where a project may face the risk of failure. For example, realizing too late that a budget is inadequate could cause delays or even completely derail the project, as could underestimating the human resources and time required for completion, or the level of expertise needed for certain tasks. Check out our blog on the matter to see what we mean.

One of the biggest risks, according to a study by professional services firm Deloitte, is project complexity. While a project that is roughly $1-3 million in scope has about a 34% chance of success in their estimation, projects with a value of $10 million or more only have about a 7% success rate. Why? Because of the problems that arise from budgeting, resources and overall project management.

However, with the right database of information, including big data use cases, companies can compare current projects to past projects to see how certain areas overlap and pinpoint potential obstacles and setbacks before they occur. In other words, businesses can better assess risks and avoid pitfalls that plagued them in the past, improving outcomes for upcoming projects.

Measurable Variables

In the past, the ability to measure a variety of variables was shaky at best. How could companies see the impact of advertising campaigns, for example, other than through subsequent sales or voluntary customer data (surveys, reviews, etc.)? How could businesses plan to meet client or customer expectations? How could complex projects be efficiently managed and progress monitored?

These days, big data provides the needed solutions, while project management software like cloud-based Clarizen is paving the way with automation, real-time visibility and dynamic reporting, as well as customizable interfaces and workflows. With proper tracking capabilities and software designed for project planning, communications and management, businesses are not only able to measure performance, but also implement effective improvements.

Utilizing big data requires ample tracking, but also the ability to pinpoint specific variables in order to set goals and measure successes. This, in turn, can significantly improve project outcomes and increase overall success.

Angela Bunner
Angela Bunner, VP of Solutions Engineering