Mind the gap

So I am coming from 10 years working as a Director of Services, mainly managing Microsoft Dynamics ERP implementations. As a former developer, DBA, business and data analyst, ERP implementations essentially exposed me to business, Brazil compliance roller-coaster and a hard-core life. Have you watched the movie Life of PI ? I watched it for the first time this week, and it totally took me back to this environment. Understanders will understand. Don´t get me wrong: this was A LOT of experience and learning.

As a since-ever-data-passionate, somehow I felt a monotony within the ERP world, limited by operational and compliance functionalities, as well as proprietary designs and technology. In other words, I was feeling frustrated delivering nice ERP implementations that would provide no intelligence for the higher level managers strategies and decisions. Indeed, these guys would support and/or sponsor the project without ever seeing any business knowledge being produced. This could have been BI visualizations at least, but not even, budget and time would be completely eaten even before the basic operational phase 1 scope was delivered. I made sure this concern was communicated to the stakeholders before each project kick-off, uselessly though. And I am talking about assorted organization types, ok ?

Finally, I made a decision to move beyond the ERP environment boundaries, to, at least, expose companies to BI resources. But wait, data is now a science (finally), and this allows for further going, with machine learning algorithms and BigData availability enabling for prediction and prescription now. Excellent!

Customers reach out full of digital transformation feelings and ideas involving dashboards, predictive models and BigData. Nevertheless, many have so much data spreadout in sheets and assorted data sources, sometimes not even an ERP is there. Data is all over the place, not integrated and badly documented. Productivity is far from acceptable, data is unreliable with doubtful quality. Such conditions impact priorities therefore planning, as they must be addressed before trying to make cutting-edge digital transformation dreams come true, otherwise they will be a nightmare.

End of story is that my beautiful and impacting data science intentions have been giving place to a “mind the gap” advice, and here I am reviving data analysis, documentation and integration works (I actually love this), either within or without ERPs, but still a gap away from showing the intelligence and knowledge they could extract from the available data treasures.