Three Key Factors for a Successful Analytics Program

In every industry and across all departments, organizations are realizing the potential of analytics programs to raise productivity, improve decision-making and gain a competitive advantage. Yet, managing and executing an analytics program isn’t easy.

For one, a program’s requirements are tough to define since the availability of the data is often unclear. When more information is uncovered, new ideas surface that shift the project’s scope, schedule and budget. For another, excess data and resistant support make it difficult to efficiently cleanse, verify and maintain the quality of the data.

In Managing an Analytics Program: the three key factors for success, an article in our Fall 2015 edition of CROSSINGS: The Sapient Journal of Business Transformation, we outline why adopting an iterative approach, obtaining a robust data set and painting the “big picture” are the three key factors to establish an effective analytics program.

Key questions to consider: 

  • The role of iterative planning and scope management. How do you connect the dots inherent to complex analytics projects? Why is low-level, long-term planning not in a program’s best interest?
  • The importance of clean and robust data. What problem are you trying to solve? What data can be used to address it? How can you protect the integrity of this data over time?
  • The value of a data-driven culture or painting the big picture. How will you ensure end-user adoption? How can you optimally manage a change in the way your business operates?


Barbara Thorne-Thomsen – Senior Associate
Barbara Thorne-Thomsen is a Senior Associate of Program Management based in Houston. She is working as the program manager of a visualization and analytics program at a major oil company. Prior to this, Barbara worked as a project manager on numerous large-scale energy trading and risk management deployments, focusing on the change management and cutover phases of the projects.

Cassandra Howard – Manager
Cassandra Howard is a Manager with Sapient Global Markets. She has 15+ years of experience in the energy commodity industry, including 10 years of experience working in front- and mid-office roles for leading companies in the energy trading industry. Cassandra has worked on multiple large-scale integrated system deployments, demonstrating a strong understanding of impact from front to back office. Prior to joining Sapient, Cassandra worked with major oil companies in trading, risk and accounting operations.

Shahed Haq – Director of Program Management
Shahed Haq is a Director of Program Management based in Houston, specializing in large-scale ETRM implementations. He has recently worked as a program manager on an analytics program for a Canadian ISO. Prior to that, Shahed worked as a program manager on multiple large-scale, global ETRM implementations for a major oil company.