You are advising a company on how to set up a data analytics function

ssignment 1: The Big Picture.  A 1 or 2 page general description of your business (in APA format).  Describe the company you have chosen and the topic for which you believe data collection and analysis will benefit that company. 

You are a consultant hired to inform a company (a profit or a non-profit) why they should invest in a data analytics function and what they stand to gain. The client company is relatively sure they want such a function because they heard it produces useful predictions of some kind involving customers, suppliers, competitors and more, but they are not sure what it might cost to set up or how to do it, or what they can realistically expect to gain from it.

Pick a company to write about (public or private, profit or non-profit). Analyze the current issues important to that company and that industry. Research the current competitive environment. Research what benefits are already being provided by similar data analytics functions. Estimate the likely costs and obstacles a new data analytics function will face. 

Write a 1 or 2 page proposal (an APA-style essay) to your client in which you tell them (1) what a data analytics function is and what they can expect to gain from it, and (2) generally how it should be set up (you will fill-in more details in later papers). For instance, it might be set up in a local data center on new equipment, or maybe it should be set up in the cloud, or maybe some other method. Estimate the likely project timeline (how long will it take) and estimate ballpark costs (you can revise these later).

Depending on your choices, such a data analytics function might be a small low-cost thing, or maybe it might be a higher-cost and more extensive function. In later weeks of this class you will be asked to add-on lots of additional details (in future more essays) to cover the many other topics in detail, such as the cloud, data warehousing, networks, security, and more.

The Essay (about 2 pages in APA style)

  1. What is the name of the business that hired you as the consultant? You can select a real business or you can make one up. Assume they do not have a data analytics function. Who is your customer (the person that hired you)?  Is it the CEO?  The CIO? Someone else?
  2. What things are important to this business? For instance, if you are writing about a company that makes paper products, then for instance the availability of wood or recycled paper is likely to be important to them. Many more things are probably important to them too, such as sales, costs, inventory, competitors, supplies, etc. Tell the customer which thing or which things they can expect to get from this new data analytics function.
  3. How might an ongoing data analytics function (not a one-time thing) provide some of these things that are missing but are important to your client? What is a reasonable time to set up such a data analytics function?
  4. What are estimated costs? What is your estimate of the duration of this project? (You can revise these later – for now just estimate)
  5. Use APA-style to write this essay. Do not repeat the numbered instructions in this essay. Do not simply “Educate the reader” with definitions.

Here are some samples of things you are NOT going to write about:

  • You are not creating a website to sell computers
  • You are not creating a food-delivery business
  • You are not starting an Amazon-related product business 

You are advising a company on how to set up a Data Analytics function to perform the kind of analytics (predictive?) that your chosen company needs to do.


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