Identify Data and Methods

You now have the basic structure of your model mapped out. Now, you need to “fill in the blanks” by quantifying the parameters and other functions it contains.  But before you (or someone supporting you) can jump in and do this, you face one more step: identifying how you will acquire the data you’ll need and what analytic method you will employ to make the calculations. Follow the steps below.

1.Identify Your Data Sources: Start by listing the inputs you’ve already identified and where you can acquire the data for each. In addition, you’ll need historical data on outputs. List them as well and where you can acquire data for them. Keep in mind that you need these data across the range of conditions you wish to test. Do you have them? Where not, note that you have a gap.

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2.Address Data Gaps: Summarize the gaps you’ve found, if any, and consider how you will close them. Business leaders often desire data that is not readily available. Use the Guide to Identifying Data to consider common options for addressing gaps.

3.Select Your Analytic Method: Now you know what data you’ll need and how you’ll get it. Next identify what analytic method you’ll use to take that data and quantify your model. Use the Guide to Identifying Methods to select the method you’ll use.

4.Plan Your Path Forward: Summarize the resources you’ll need and the steps you’ll take. During this step, you’ll face a critical choice for how you treat the remainder of the program. Consider the progress you’ll be able to make over the next week, which is the time you’ll have to complete the analysis. Based on what you uncover for data and methods, you’ll face a choice going forward between:

  • Complete the Analysis: If you can mobilize the data you’ll need and can either execute the method yourself or get support from others who can do it for you, you should move ahead to complete the Empirical Strategy process. As your final deliverable, you’ll propose an approach for resolving the business challenge underlying you Personal Case Project based on the insight you gain from your analysis.
  • Test Your Model: If it completing your analysis will take more time or resource than you have available, you should move ahead to “test” your model. You’ll make some educated assumptions about key inputs and/or relationships in order to generate some tentative insights. As your final deliverable, you’ll develop a proposal to complete the analysis after the program is done, based on the structure you have developed for it and an assessment of the business value that completing it may generate.

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