What is Manualytics and why should I care?

Manualytics (manual analytics) is the labor intensive, manual process of creating information. It involves finding, loading, correlating and consolidating data into spreadsheets to answer a particular question.

The business leadership asks a question which initiates a number of analysts to start sift through the silos, usually with spreadsheets.

The answers from different departments don’t agree. That spawns a second round of analysts with spreadsheets trying to prove whose numbers are correct.

The business is left with an answer they don’t trust which leads to decision making with inordinate risk.

Does this sound familiar? Can you give examples in your organization that resemble this process? You are not alone. Manual analytics exists in virtually all organizations because the business can create questions faster than IT can provide answers.

The problems with Manualtyics include:

  • It is inefficient and labor intensive
  • It produces inconsistent results and can compounded errors
  • It buries complex business logic in spreadsheets
  • It introduces uncertainty and confusion
  • It engenders mistrust of the data
  • It leads to risky decisions
  • Second and third layer of analysis
  • Data Untraceable from Target to Source – compliance anyone?

One of the largest problems is that Manualytics is a hidden overhead cost/activity in many organizations. If the manual spreadsheets (or any desktop system) are run every month and are business critical – then they need to be productionalized and automated.

If you don’t have a program to improve your BI capabilities and limit/reduce the amount of manual analytics then you are treading water at best.

This siloed architecture and manualytics activities describes what we call a typical BI current state. We see this situation to varying degrees, in one form or another, in virtually all organizations.

So how do we break out of this cycle?

How do we position our systems and people to obtain actionable information?

How do we overcome our siloed architectures and maximize our long term IT investments? 

One thought on “What is Manualytics and why should I care?

  1. Pingback: 10 things you can do right now to improve your Enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities « Edgewater Technology Weblog

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