Maximize Incident Response Effectiveness: Data Analytics

by Tom Uva and Dan Rundle

This article is part of a larger series of posts related to assisting mid-market companies in maximizing incident response effectiveness. See all parts of the series. 

Normal feels like a long time ago. The world has changed and continues to change. How should forward-thinking mid-market executives adjust their data analytics strategy as a result of the new normal?  When determining how to incorporate Data Analytics into your Incident Response (IR) plan, the Operational and Technology experts at Elliott Davis and Worthwhile would like to help accelerate your response efforts by sharing our expertise, cross-industry experience, and observations of working with other mid-market companies facing the same set of challenges.

Our intent is to provide you with “thought triggers” and give you simple, practical guidance to provide you with a starting point to create and/or refine the Data Analytics aspects of your IR plan.  Now is actually a good time to assess your data and analytics capabilities, incorporate new sources into your models, and unlock new insights.  Mid-market companies have an opportunity to not only respond but to leap ahead of their competition. The larger players will struggle to make quick changes, and the smaller players probably do not have the infrastructure and resources you do.  We recommend you consider the following items for your IR plan and incorporate the ones which make sense for your specific scenario.




Work quickly to get actionable information out to employees on the front line or at home.

Identify new data sources to include in your analysis.

Make sure your key business systems are tracking all the steps/changes/updates along the customer or employee digital journey, not just the final decision or transaction.

Carefully examine how customer and employee data is changing, especially in the context of work-at-home schedules. Be extra cautious when reviewing systems that assume a “normal 8 to 5” workday.

Find opportunities to provide new actionable data or visualizations to your customers as a value-add.

Look for creative ways to improve worker productivity during work from home periods. Work environments have changed, so proper work habits will need to change as well.

When designing planning scenarios, capture key assumptions, systems, algorithms, etc. to increase the effectiveness of your modeling efforts.

Rapidly test and iterate on your algorithms, visualizations, and recommendations, because inputs are changing constantly.

Incorporate a big-data approach to forecasting with creative sources (Google Health API, Weather Data, IBM Flu Forecast, State/local/regional curfews, employee geo-location data, etc.)

Keep your monthly (or even weekly) cadence of reporting on critical information — it is too slow.

Assume your historical data will be an accurate trend of the next 6-12 months.

Become fixated on only the end result of a decision or transaction.  Be sure to pay attention to customer and/or employee “digital journey” data along the way in key processes, so additional behaviors/insights are not lost.

Forget to consider the massive impact that work-from-home policies are having on all behavior.

Limit the data and reporting you provide to your customers to the same historic reports you have been providing. The world has changed.

Be caught off guard by lay-offs and allow knowledge of key processes, systems, and internal operations to walk out the door.

Assume your rapid response changes will be accurate for long or intermediate periods of time.  The current COVID-19 situation is very fluid and rapidly changing.  These can change every 24-48 hours.

Rely only on internal data, when there are many other readily available sources.

We can help

If your organization has concerns about continuing operations, developing and implementing an incident response plan or is working to determine the best way to serve its customers and employees, the Operational & Technology experts at Elliott Davis can help.  We have partnered with our friends at Worthwhile to provide deep data analytics capabilities to our clients. Together, we can help you actively manage through this unprecedented series of events and keep your business moving in the right direction.

These insights are provided by Dan Rundle, CEO of our Data Analytics partner Worthwhile, along with Tom Uva who leads Elliott Davis’s Management Consulting Services practice.  Together, our teams are able to bring our customers highly effective and impactful business solutions, leveraging Data Analytics in a manner that aligns with your organization’s goals and culture. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact or fill out the form below.


Questions on COVID-19?