The Perpetual Motion of Analytics

One of the primary purposes of Analytics is to learn something about an organization. Like all learning, it never ends.  An answer leads to new questions.

In essence, Analytics is like perpetual motion – it never ends.  It is this spiraling causality that makes Analytics activities different.  Projects have a defined goal and an end.  Analytics also differs from operational activities.  Operations may never end, but they are much more focused and constrained.

Analytics activities can be directed but in the course of an investigation, the expected result may not come about.   One is exploring rather than producing.  As soon as something is learned, expected or not, it generates new questions and the search for new answers.

The Perpetual Motion of Analytics
Leonardo da Vinci – Perpetual Motion

This means one of the main challenges for leaders is how to direct and control Analytics.  Forcing Analytics into operations or project management techniques will diminish its effectiveness.  At the same time, the perpetual tendencies of Analytics cannot be left to go on forever.  Leaders that can maintain a balance between control and open research will get their most from their Analytics investments.

By: Gordon MacMaster