Nearly everyone agrees about the potential for Big Data analytics to boost a company's bottom line. Yet analytics tends to be viewed with a degree of skepticism by many in the business world. It has a reputation for generating vast amounts of its own data, without always providing the insights that business leaders were looking for. The key to profiting from analytics is using the right analytics in the right context.
As early as 2008, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company demonstrated the art of profiting from analytics. It drove up ticket sales at one theater by 50 percent by applying analytics to identify audience segments for targeted marketing.
And, as Narendra Mulani notes at Information Management, the Bard has not been alone in profiting from well-chosen uses of analytics. Another British firm, a retailer, was able to dramatically improve its supply chain efficiency by closely tracking customer behavior, and using that data to ensure that the goods those customers wanted were in stock when they wanted them.
From retail to health insurance, firms that deploy appropriate analytics have been rewarded by increased sales, reduced fraud, and other results that contribute directly to the company bottom line.
Moreover, firms are using analytics not only to improve on existing business lines but to identify and develop new customers and new businesses. For example, Verizon has been able to provide business customers such as entertainment venues with insights into their audiences gleaned from analysis of customer demographics, geographics, and psychographics.
As Mulani points out, "analytics only makes sense in a particular industry and functional context." Perhaps the greatest misleading temptation for firms adopting analytics is to concentrate on the data that is easiest to collect and manipulate – which may not be the most relevant data.
Firms are also gaining, says Mulani, by "industrializing" their analytics process. That is, companies are building a regular cycle of asking business questions, then using analytics to answer those questions. If a particular project falls short, they incorporate the lessons learned in the next project.
Let GRT Corporation help your analytics answer the questions you want to ask, not just the questions that are easy to answer.