I spend a lot of my time at OThot talking to customers and prospective customers about the power of predictive analytics.  Drawing a parallel to our core business, the more data (conversations) I have the more I see patterns emerge.  One of the consistent themes that I have noticed is that once organizations begin to see new business insights as a result of analytics they unleash a creative engine that becomes a playground for the employees.  “And then we can look at this angle” or “then we can explore this problem” or “what if we know ‘this’ about our customers”.

This effect we affectionately call scope creep.  I say “affectionately” because creativity is wonderful.  It is the soul of innovation – especially when it is driven from intellectual curiosity.  The trick is to not get lost in creativity and exploration to the extent that we are not harnessing the power of predictive analytics to answer the organizations High Impact Questions – “Solve HIQ” is one of OThot’s mantras.

The counterbalance to scope creep is a solid predictive analytics strategy.  The leadership of the organization should establish a core group of target HIQs that are the primary objective of managers and analytic professionals.  These HIQs will drive business strategy and operational decisions that will enable organizations to be what the International Institute for Analytics calls “Analytic Competitors”.  Beat the competition through analytically driven strategy and programs.

Scope creep is fun and will uncover opportunities that you did not know existed and your organization should embrace the pursuit of intellectual curiosity.  However, it should not be at the expense of or overshadow the objective of answering your HIQs.