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Strong improvisational skills are helpful in certain aspects of life, but in the world of analytics, flying by the seat of your pants is not advised. Creating a roadmap for how your company wants to acquire, study and implement data is necessary. Leveraging information into substantial change is a great benefit for a business, but first there must be a plan for designing analytics systems.

An analytics roadmap is useful in solving business issues such as finding customers and suppliers, determining if a business is thriving, studying the latest trends in the field, improving customer service and more. The map helps entities create and implement strategies that enable the business to succeed. A roadmap goes a long way in improving business intelligence by providing necessary answers a company may have.

Understanding the goal
As companies look for any way to gain an advantage over their competition, data has become an increasingly valuable tool. Knowing which metrics to study and how to turn that data into improved performance gives a business that leg up. The roadmap turns the information an entity stores into the analytics that will make a difference in achieving a company's goals by being a guide for creating real results, according to Stat Slice. 

"The map helps entities create and implement strategies that enable the business to succeed."

A map is useful no matter what a business's goals are. For some, that goal is to raise profits. For others, the goal is to learn more about clients. In March, The U.S. Office of Personnel Management unveiled its data-backed roadmap for making smarter hiring decisions. By reviewing data from a variety of sources, the OPM hopes to develop tactics to improve hiring by speeding up the process and revamping the government job website to make it more user friendly, The Federal Times Reported.

In a statement on the OPM website, Director Katherine Archuleta said the recruitment, engagement, diversity and inclusion (REDI) roadmap was built based in part on insights from speaking with a wide range of Americans about their job seeking process.

"OPM is collaborating with agencies and stakeholders from across government to help managers untie hiring knots and eliminate barriers to recruitment and hiring," Archuleta said in the statement. "The REDI roadmap provides the tools and strategy that will aid federal agencies in their efforts to ensure that our federal workforce draws from the rich diversity of the people it serves."

Following the plan
A business should go over two key items: what data it has to study and its goals utilizing analytics. This provides the beginning and end to every roadmap. By determining the information analytics software will review and what the company wants to achieve by studying the data, the roadmap takes form.

In between those two sections should be an outline of the entire process, an overview of the roles key participants will play in reviewing the data and a description of the reporting and analysis stage. There is also the solutions step, where a scheduled quality assurance and maintenance check takes place, according to CMS Wire. All of these items fit on the roadmap timeline so that analysts are able to monitor progress and spot trends in the data. As data is gathered, the insights produced by the analytics software become more in-depth, which leads to greater improvement for a company – the entire reason for the roadmap in the first place.