Use of IT to support R&D management

MIT Slaon Review has results of a survey about the use of data analytics in corporations with quite a bit of useful information.

Our inquiry into how organizations are turning analytics into competitive advantage comprised conducting a survey of more than 4,000 executives, managers and analysts from around the world and from a wide range of industries. The results of our second annual survey are now in and we’ve begun analyzing the data.

Here are some key take home messages for R&D managers.

  1. Data analytics is mainly used to support decision making and resource allocation.  (Pretty obvious)
  2. The key problem in use of data analytics is integrating data from a wide variety of sources.  This is a key problem in R&D management as different the disciplines involved in R&D all use completely different jargons and tools.  The same data is called differently is engineering, project management, marketing or resource allocation.
  3. Another key hurdle is in the consistency of data. When so many different disciplines and tools are involved, it is rare that they all have data available at the same maturity / detail. Many times, organizations with mature data get punished because bad performance is noticeable, while those that do not have data get to misbehave without any problems. This actually devolves organizations to hide data!
  4. Once the information becomes available, executives need to have consistent decision making. This hard because if pet projects are shown to not add value, executives will have to kill them just like any other project. I have seen many a decision making process fail because the leaders were not willing to make hard decisions. Once information becomes available, the leaders will have to walk the talk!