Analytics is fast becoming the staff that organizations are coming to depend increasingly on in order to understand consumer behaviour, improve operational efficiency, and cut flab. But what are the dimensions that it will assume in the future? How should it grow out so that it can impact every aspect of business leading to effective business decisions and strategies that ultimately translate into higher ROI and customer satisfaction?
Dimensions of Growth â€“ Analytics
As per Mohan Jayaraman, MD, Experian Credit Information Company of India, there is no such thing as â€˜Marketing Analyticsâ€™. While marketing is focused on vertical output, analytics is all about what you do with numbers for business output with a methodology and process in place rather than just vertical output. If you do analytics right, you get marketing right. The broad dimensions associated with analytics of the future are:
- Infrastructure completeness
- Completeness of approach
- Complexity spectrum, and
- Latency progression
It is necessary to have a certain environment to put analytics in place. Every organization looking at analytics is at a certain stage of maturity. The amount of progression in terms of infrastructure has to move from:
- Data mart to
- Data warehouse with basic data initially, gradually moving on to complex transactional data, and then process information
The richer the tools to look at data are, the better off an organization is. Analytics in some form should link back to the organization, interface with core systems which will end up using it. Ensure analytical completeness and also appropriate ability to use it within core systems.
Completeness of approach
Detailing in the framework of analytics is essential. There should be a holistic approach to analytics. Completeness of approach can be ensured through four steps:
- 1. Understand the business problem
- Map it into an analytical problem
- Translate it into metrics that you can track â€“ what are my opportunities and by how much can I influence the different variables; quantifying each element enables to prioritise
- Track these elements with the objective/targets set
The ideal way to bring in a completeness of approach would be to look at it from the perspective of the whole business rather than taking one aspect of a business problem and trying to work it out. Solve it in entirety rather than in parts. More successful analytics organizations have a completeness of approach and not a part-by-part approach.
Analytics has to move from simple to complex; from mere reporting to strategy management and strategy science. It has to move up the maturity chain. Rather than just perceive it as an analytical problem, it is important to look at it from the strategy point of view. Find the right place and continuum. Donâ€™t get too complex. Apply the right technology to get optimal results.
The gap between the time when an event takes place and the time taken to act on it must be reduced. When the time between the two is longer, it lowers the desired impact. Reduction of latency is essential. This also translates to increasing the predictability of an outcome. How likely is a consumer to place a deposit with you when you approach him close to the event of him putting in some money into his account? That is latency reduction.
It is also important to evaluate the cost v/s return factor. Cost relates not only to money spent on the campaign but also for retention of customers. It is important to identify customers who will react. So, there should be objective decision-making, centralized analytics in some form, it should be consistent, and empower the front-line. The values expected out of analytics will remain the same provided it started out with the right objective to get optimal results through constant tracking. The 4 factors are critical to the delivery of the objective.
Mohan Jayaraman shared his thoughts during his valedictory talk at the inaugural edition of the Pitch Analytics in Action conference held in Bangalore on January 16, 2013.
Pitch Analytics in Action was powered by The Hindu Business Line. Dekhooh was Outdoor Partner for the event, CIOL.com was the Online Partner, Institute for Competitiveness was the Think Tank Partner, Marketelligent was the Knowledge Partner, and 24 Frames Digital was the Webcast Partner.