5.3 Management ML strategy: Data Project Checklist

To identify the potential of machine learning for a organization a methodical approach is given in TBD. It relates to the drivetrain approach described in chapter 5.4, however, it is from management perspective and therefore focused on the strategic issues of the organization.

The elements of drivetrain

  • Objective
  • Levers
  • Data needed
  • Model assembly line

The elements from drivetrain are present in the data project checklist but not explicitly stated. Another example that in different roles the naming conventions differ. In the mind map below the strategy is presented, the yellow call-outs emphasizes the relation to the drivetrain approach.

Strategy to identify machine learning potential in organization, figure based on (Jeremy Howard 2020)

Starting from the most important strategic issues of the organization the possibility to work on those issues based on data is evaluated.

Another starting point could be to look at the profit drivers which can be impacted strongly by the organization. Those could be operational actions (e.g. call customer) or strategic decisions (e.g. release new product) for which data must be available. The data might be already in the organization or might have to be acquired from a vendor, or it can be collected in the future.

For the biggest identified opportunities for data-driven analysis in the organization few questions have to be answered in order to not lose sight of the top level objective. Also the question of ROI and time constraints have to be considered to streamline resources.


Jeremy Howard, Sylvain Gugger. 2020. Deep Learning for Coders with Fastai and PyTorch. O’Reilly Media, Inc.