The Last Mile Analytics Consortium
The Last Mile Analytics Consortium (LMAC) is a consortium of companies interested in better understanding the factors that lead to the success or failure of analytics, its impact on the firm and on society, as well as the exchange of best practices with other high-level analytics executives from organizations considered to be leaders in using analytics for competitive advantage.
Membership in the consortium is limited to ten firms with a history of excellence in analytics, data-driven decision making, and a commitment to engage through a high-level analytics executive. Unless agreed to by all existing members, no two companies will be from the same sector/market.
The mission of LMAC is twofold. First, LMAC, in partnership with the Wake Forest University Center for Analytics Impact (CAI), conducts research that supports the understanding of analytics impact, the success factors of analytics impact, and the root causes of the failure of analytics. This research will be disseminated first to consortium members and then to the analytics community with the goal of educating the profession to enhance the success rate of the use of analytics, its impact on firms and its impact on society. LMAC members will have heavy influence on the research questions studied. Second, LMAC will provide a platform for organized B2B exchange with its members. Two meetings per year, exclusively for LMAC members, will include programming around analytics impact, a forum to exchange best practices and areas of concern, as well discussion and possible action on societal issues that may be addressed through analytics. Additionally, four conference calls per year will be held to ensure that members are engaged and updated on the research agenda.
Topics of research will include, but are not limited to, analytics project success factors, root causes of analytics project failure, leadership, effective communication and influencing, problem definition and framing, the significance of business domain knowledge, ethics in handling data and modeling, data privacy, and differences in all of these by sector, firm size and organizational structure. It is expected that these unique research efforts will create innovative new findings that will have an impact on the successful application and understanding of analytics. To leverage these findings through CAI, short courses and certificate programs will be developed to reinforce the importance of LMAC findings and to ensure that these findings influence the practice of analytics. LMAC members will benefit from the continuing education products directly in that they will have access to these courses and materials through train-the-trainer sessions with CAI faculty. In addition to short courses and certificate programs, for the benefit of the analytics profession at large, the LMAC research findings will also be disseminated through academic journals, main-stream publications, academic white papers, case studies and presentations at relevant conferences.
Membership in the LMAC is by invitation only. An annual membership fee is used to fund research and to provide biannual membership-only meetings for dissemination of research findings, discussion of future research, and the exchange of best practices. Each LMAC corporate member commits to naming a high-level analytics executive, who is designated as the corporation’s representative. The representative must be committed to actively participating in the mission of LMAC by attending the bi-annual membership meetings and conference calls and actively participating in the exchange of ideas in support of LMAC’s mission. Corporate membership in LMAC also includes an annual corporate membership to the Wake Forest University Center for Analytics Impact (CAI) and the corporate benefits associated with that membership.
LMAC’s mission is to conduct world-class, relevant research around analytics impact and to develop best-in-class products (cases, learning materials, and continuing education short courses) that help analytics professionals be impactful. The benefits of LMAC membership are:
- Members of LMAC heavily influence the research agenda and hence through LMAC, can get objective unbiased answers to questions around issues most critical to their use of analytics and its impact. LMAC members have first-access to all such LMAC research findings. Wake Forest University reserves the right to publish LMAC research findings.
- The products developed based on LMAC research will be co-owned by Wake Forest University and LMAC members. As co-owners of LMAC members have the right to use any products developed from this research internally to their organization. Additionally, in the case of short courses, CAI agrees to run a train-the-trainer session so that these can be offered by LMAC personnel internally at the member organization. Wake Forest University CAI retains the right to offer/sell all such developed products to the public.
- LMAC members will participate in two LMAC members-only meetings annually. These meetings will report research findings, discuss products developed from the research, set the future research agenda and provide B2B though-leadership exchange. LMAC members-only monthly conference calls provide the same on a more limited basis and ensure that members are kept current on all on-going projects.
In addition to the above mentioned LMAC benefits, LMAC members are also entitled to all of the benefits of CAI membership. These include:
- Opportunity to send an appropriate representative to bi-annual members-only CAI meeting (a broader set of companies than LMAC) for B2B exchange on analytics impact.
- Four seats in every non-credit educational/conference activity offered by CAI.
- Priority access to analytics student talent and a guaranteed student project.
- Priority access to faculty expertise/research.