3 Ways Analytics Can Drive Business Growth

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 17, 2015

business analytics

It’s time for organizations to move from just using business analytics to become an ‘analytics business,’ states Gartner, which predicts that by 2020, 50 percent of organizations will actively measure and assess return on analytics initiatives. By analytics business, the research firm means using analytics in its fullest to drive business growth and profit.

Gartner research director Lisa Kart said true analytic businesses are concerned with more than just transaction data. Instead, they use correlations and patterns from disparate, linked data sources to yield the greatest insights and transformative opportunities.

“The biggest opportunities are with connecting the data you already have,” she says. For example, getting a cross channel view of your customer means digging deeper and connecting the silos together to transform the data into something consumable.

Kart mentions four ways analytics can drive business excellence today.

1. Engage and interact with customers

Kart gives the example of International fashion house Burberry that used analytics to create a high end, in-store customer experience that gave customers greater intimacy and interaction. They leveraged and analyzed data from customer purchases, surveys and social media and used the information to identify and greet their customers when they walked in the store.

“Burberry was able to blend the in-store and online experience for their customers,” said Kart.

Australian bank Westpac launched its ‘Know Me’ program to engage with customers. Capturing data activity from 12 million customers, including web browsing history, ATM usage and even calls to the bank, Westpac was able to actively engage their customers.

The services were so personalized that ATMs would recommend a list of ATMs closer to the customer’s home or work that didn’t charge fees. As a result, Westpac’s customer engagement score grew from less than 1 percent to more than 25 percent.

 2. Improve performance

According to Gartner, Coca-Cola is squeezing every drop of data to ensure they provide product consistency. “Many people think Coca-Cola’s best kept secret is their formula for Coke. It’s actually the formula for their Minute Maid orange juice,” Kart said.

The company detected inconsistencies in their juice due to variations in orange crops, sourcing and seasonality.

“Using satellite images, weather patterns, expected crop yields and even variables in flavor such as acidity and sweetness, Coca-Cola was able to fine-tune their formula to such a point that they could respond and changeMexican oil refinery Pemex needed to reduce the time lost on unplanned maintenance. They monitored water levels, pressure, temperature, flow, PH and conductivity, and used chemical analysis to calculate the efficiency of their cooling towers.

According to Kart, “In speaking to employees, they discovered that many of the parts emitted a noise right before they stopped working. Pemex installed sensors on those parts that carefully monitored vibrations and alerted maintenance before a breakdown occurred. It saved the company 960 hours per year in maintenance.”

3. Using analytics to innovate

Analytics can help drive business forward, but it’s up to the individual to use the available data to create new business opportunities. Putting data in the hands of all employees allows innovation to occur.

The first step in transforming data is tying it to an actual business need. People tend to get overwhelmed by all the hype around big data, says Kart. The real question they need to be asking is ‘what is your business trying to accomplish? Are you looking to improve marketing, lower risk, make operational changes, or increase revenue?’ Only then they can accomplish success in their business strategies, summed up Kart.