Introducing CAST's Software Analytics "BCG Matrix"

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The BCG matrix is a classic planning model devised in the 1960s by the Boston Consulting Group and copied henceforth by every other advisory firm. It is typically used to help organizations decide which areas of their business deserve more resources and investment. The matrix traditionally categorizes products within a company's portfolio according to growth rate, market share, and cash flow.

Since we're doing a webinar with BCG, we thought we would come up with one such matrix to sort what we do for a living. CAST’s variant -- the Software Analytics Matrix -- outlines the four key archetypes found amongst IT analysts and the two simple variables which define them.

CAST-software-analytics-matrix

Here’s a quick breakdown of each quadrant:

Stars are individuals who are able to take immediate action based in timely, accurate and credible data. What makes a star is a combination of high data credibility and high decision responsiveness. They have the tools at their disposal to effectively analyse and transform data into actionable insights for the rest of the business.

Dogs are creatures of considerable instinct and don’t like to waste time, often bounding into action at the faintest hint of an insight data might provide them. They typically combine high decision responsiveness with low data credibility. Old dogs can’t learn new tricks, but they can transform into stars by measuring and qualifying data properly.

Question Marks struggle with completely opposite problems to Dogs. Question Marks usually have a wealth of quality data to work with, but just don’t have the know-how to turn it into gold. A typical Question Mark has high data credibility, but demonstrates low decision responsiveness. They spend most of their time looking a little confused and struggle to make any decision, whether it’s the right one or not.

Cows have little redeeming features in terms of software analytics. They churn out poor decisions slowly, with bovine indifference, based on little or no insight into their data. Cows combine low data credibility with low decision responsiveness. To be honest, they might as well be an actual cow.

"How do I get from Cow to Star?" might be a question you’re hounding us to answer. So take a look at the matrix yourself and see if you can place your organization's software analytics capability into one of the four quadrants. Let us know where you fit by leaving a comment.

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