Tag Archives: Business analysis

Speed isn’t the only winning Formula for Analytics!

Speed! Seems like everybody wants to go faster and faster.  But here is the question:  Why is speed only half the story when it comes to analytics?  IMAGE$1508AC4836EB4FE0.gifYeah, the desktop business intelligence and data discovery vendors all tell you that they will get you there quickly but will they get you there safely in first place???

 

I was speaking with Derek Daly, former Formula 1 race car driver from Ireland, about what it takes to win in both Formula 1 racing and in today’s business environment.  It was a fascinating topic as many people think you just have to go fast to get to the finish line.  The reality of Formula 1 racing is that it is about both speed and the right actions.  Drivers must make split second accurate decisions at the speed of thought.  Otherwise, they end up driving their car into the wall and in the worst case scenario they die.

This made me think about my day job which is in the analytics space.  I hear so often from prospects and clients that they need speed…they need insights faster than anyone else.  Well, what happens if the “fast insights” are accurate but don’t give you the nuance behind the data? Or even worse, what if they are just inaccurate?

The fast insights that are offered to you by the data discovery vendors get you the answer of “what happened” fast but often leave out the answer to “why something happened”. This perception about needing fast insights can lead to some very dangerous decisions.  Just because you got there quickly does not mean the answers are right.

Fast ≠ Right

The real issue is “confident decisions.”  To build real confidence, you have to start by fixing the data problems that can undermine your analytics – ensure you have all the data you need and that the data and analytics are trusted. makedecisions_0You also need the full spectrum of analytics which address all questions bringing context to your analysis.

  • Descriptive (What happened?) ,
  • Diagnostic (Why did it happen?)
  • Predictive (What is likely to happen?) 
  • Prescriptive (What should I be doing?)

That way you’ll cut through the uncertainty of the what, while getting deeper insights into the why to understand what you should actually be doing!

Just like the Formula 1 race car driver – business leaders need speed but they need to take the right actions and have confidence in their decisions.  For business leaders, they may not drive their car into the wall but making the wrong decisions quickly can lead to lost revenue, lost customers and in some cases industry fines.

You can learn more by joining us in person on November 16th at the Manhattan Classic Car Club. Learn more and register here:  ibm.co/2i6NLEA

 

 

Why speeding up your analytics is 1/2 the story!

Speed! Seems like everybody wants to go faster and faster.  But here is the question:  Why is speed only half the story when it comes to analytics?  Yeah, the desktop business intelligence and data discovery vendors all tell you that they will get you there quickly but will they get you there safely in first place???

I was speaking with Derek Daly, former Formula 1 race car driver from Ireland, about what it takes to win in both Formula 1 racing and in today’s business environment.  It was a fascinating topic as many people think you just have to go fast to get to the finish line.  The reality of Formula 1 racing is that it is about both speed and the right actions.  Drivers must make split second accurate decisions at the speed of thought.  Otherwise, they end up driving their car into the wall and in the worst case scenario they die.

This made me think about my day job which is in the analytics space.  I hear so often from prospects and clients that they need speed…they need insights faster than anyone else.  Well, what happens if the “fast insights” are accurate but don’t give you the nuance behind the data? Or even worse, what if they are just inaccurate?

The fast insights that are offered to you by the data discovery vendors get you the answer of “what happened” fast but often leave out the answer to “why something happened”. This perception about needing fast insights can lead to some very dangerous decisions.  Just because you got there quickly does not mean the answers are right.

Fast ≠ Right

The real issue is “confident decisions.”  To build real confidence, you have to start by fixing the data problems that can undermine your analytics – ensure you have all the data you need and that the data and analytics are trusted. makedecisions_0You also need the full spectrum of analytics which address all questions bringing context to your analysis.

  • Descriptive (What happened?) ,
  • Diagnostic (Why did it happen?)
  • Predictive (What is likely to happen?) 
  • Prescriptive (What should I be doing?)

That way you’ll cut through the uncertainty of the what, while getting deeper insights into the why to understand what you should actually be doing!

Just like the Formula 1 race car driver – business leaders need speed but they need to take the right actions and have confidence in their decisions.  For business leaders, they may not drive their car into the wall but making the wrong decisions quickly can lead to lost revenue, lost customers and in some cases industry fines.

You can learn more by joining us in person on November 16th at the Manhattan Classic Car Club. Learn more and register here:  ibm.co/2i6NLEA

 

 

Can your CMO justify his seat at the board room table? Or is he still scrambling to justify marketing’s spend?

Too many marketing organizations rely on the fuzziness of marketing results without being able to confidently stand up and say:  “Look, this is what we spent and here is the revenue we got in return!”  According to the 2012 IBM CMO study, 63% of CMOs believe ROI will be the most important measure of success over the next 3 to 5 years.

In today’s economic climate, marketing leaders need to be able to confidently report on their results to justify their seat at the table.  We have all heard that analytics are key to improving performance but what does this really mean for marketing organizations?

As a former Director of Marketing Operations, I was challenged to help my CMO answer some difficult and challenging questions.  When asked to answer critical questions around ROI, I would struggle to find answers.  In the early days in my role, I would reply..let me go get that information for you.  I would inevitably return with a spreadsheet that none of the leadership team would believe.  Now imagine hundreds of spreadsheets floating around with different sets of results.  This led to many interesting and heated conversations….about the veracity of the data versus discussions about business performance.

I soon discovered the magic of Business Intelligence which enabled me to confidently answer leadership’s questions.  CWTo address the challenge of multiple versions of the truth we embarked on a journey which would change the marketing performance conversation forever.

Our journey began by defining the standard metrics and KPIs which would form the common language across marketing and sales.  This was by far the most arduous and difficult part of the initiative.  I would submit that it was the most important step in the entire process.

A "dashboard" is like a speedometer ...
A “dashboard” is like a speedometer that marketing professionals use to report marketing performance.

Once we had gained agreement it took about three months to provide a worldwide marketing scorecard to track performance against KPIs, 5 roles based dashboards to the leadership team, standard demand generation reports for 120+ demand generation specialists with the ability to do ad-hoc analysis to understand why certain marketing activities performed well while others did not.

So what changed?  The conversation about performance completely changed…for the better.  The marketing and sales teams defined a common language about how to measure the business.  With agreed upon KPIs, Metrics and a single, trusted version of the truth, the marketing organization focused on what matters – the marketing activities are performing and which are not.  In the end, by using the data in front of us and acting on it, the marketing organization improved open and click through rates, pipeline creation and conversion to revenue.

If you would like more information about this journey please contact me via Twitter @BrendanRGrady