Un­leash­ing the power of an­a­lyt­ics

Big data and busi­ness an­a­lyt­ics world­wide rev­enues will grow from nearly $122bn in 2015 to more than $187bn in 2019, an in­crease of more than 50% over the five-year fore­cast pe­riod. 1 With the help of big data and an­a­lyt­ics, or­ga­ni­za­tions to­day can use in

The Smart Manager - - Contents - 01 http://www.ad­week.com/so­cial­times/lo­c­a­lyt­ics-3by3/627288\ 02 http://info.lo­c­a­lyt­ics.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-app-users-with-the-3x3rule

Ajay Kelkar, Hansa Ce­quity, iden­ti­fies a few big data and an­a­lyt­ics trends that com­pa­nies should watch out for in 2017.

In re­cent years, the words ‘an­a­lyt­ics’ and ‘data’ have be­come quite pop­u­lar. In fact, the pres­ence of both is now more ev­i­dent, as more and more com­pa­nies un­der­stand the value they de­liver when used in uni­son. No won­der, the terms ‘Black gold’ and ‘Texas Tea’ are be­ing used to de­scribe the riches that can come from data.

In 2006, when Clive Humby—a UK-based math­e­ma­ti­cian and ar­chi­tect of Tesco’s Club­card—first said, “data is the new oil”, there were not many tak­ers. But soon the phrase caught peo­ple’s at­ten­tion and be­came a topic of dis­cus­sion in places such as the UN Coun­cil and Wall Street. To­day, it has be­come one of those catch­phrases be­ing used too of­ten with more than 1.3 mil­lion Google search re­sults.

But is an­a­lyt­ics be­ing over­hyped? Is there more talk and less ac­tion on the ground?

There is a need to take a closer look at an­a­lyt­ics. In the years to come, blind be­lief in data an­a­lyt­ics will be taken over by a more se­ri­ous look at what it can truly de­liver.

The US elec­tions have shown that one needs to know the lim­i­ta­tions of data as well. Nate Sil­ver—an Amer­i­can statis­ti­cian and writer—fa­mously pre­dicted two pres­i­den­tial elec­tions nearly to per­fec­tion. He got 49 states right in 2008, and all 50 in 2012. But he was way off the mark with Trump in 2016. Why? Post the US elec­tion re­sults, he ad­mit­ted, “We have learned that we have to be care­ful about how we con­vey un­cer­tainty.”

If you are a com­pany think­ing about ei­ther start­ing out in an­a­lyt­ics or scal­ing up your an­a­lyt­ics prac­tices, it may be a good time to think and plan for 2017. Thanks to the hype that an­a­lyt­ics has gen­er­ated, or­ga­ni­za­tions have bought into the con­cept, but many are still un­sure how to ‘make it hap­pen’ for them.

The easy way is to spot the trends and in­cor­po­rate them right at the start of your strate­gic plan­ning.

Here are a few trends for 2017:

01 de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of data: More data is now avail­able to com­pa­nies of all sizes. Thanks to so­lu­tions such as Ama­zon Me­chan­i­cal Turk, busi­nesses to­day are able to col­lect data from around the world more eas­ily. So more easy ac­cess to data within a com­pany and sources to find ex­ter­nal data will be a trend that I see grow­ing in 2017. Com­pa­nies can part­ner with each other and lever­age each other’s data. A DTH com­pany knows when you move res­i­dences and that data can help a re­tailer who sells furniture or is in that catch­ment. In 2017 more mar­keters will lever­age each other’s data to build more ef­fec­tive an­a­lyt­ics so­lu­tions.

02 rise of creative an­a­lyt­ics team: An­a­lysts need to learn the art of sto­ry­telling and em­bed an­a­lyt­ics into the fab­ric of the com­pany. They are still uni­di­men­sional and have not yet em­braced the in­ter­sec­tion of ‘tech­nol­ogy, sta­tis­tics, and busi­ness’. Hence, an­a­lysts strug­gle to tell sto­ries. Of­ten I see jour­nal­ists do a far bet­ter job with in­fo­graph­ics. How­ever, data jour­nal­ists do not want a ca­reer in an­a­lyt­ics. Hence, there is a gap that needs to be filled. Re­mem­ber, sto­ry­telling is not the same as ‘pretty charts.’ To­day, vi­su­al­iza­tions are be­ing com­modi­tized with Ama­zon and Google re­leas­ing near-free of­fer­ings that of­fer their users ba­sic vi­su­al­iza­tions. Nev­er­the­less, an­a­lysts will be­come more ef­fec­tive in telling sto­ries us­ing new-age tools or plat­forms. In 2017, com­pa­nies will bring to­gether a team of peo­ple who are in­te­gra­tors and whose skill sets in sta­tis­tics, tech­nol­ogy, and busi­ness in­ter­sect. Hence, com­pa­nies need to think cre­atively for build­ing a di­verse team com­pris­ing a jour­nal­ist, tech geek, and stats jock and see the magic.

03 cus­tomers are leav­ing be­hind a video trail: So­phis­ti­ca­tion of video an­a­lyt­ics is rapidly in­creas­ing, with the launch of new tech­nolo­gies that de­tect fa­cial ex­pres­sions and gender. Thanks to plat­forms such as Snapchat, In­sta­gram, and Face­book Live, or­ga­ni­za­tions to­day have much more vis­ual data at their fin­ger­tips.

Video an­a­lyt­ics can even iden­tify unique vis­i­tors across var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, al­low­ing for a de­tailed path anal­y­sis of cus­tomers.

04 grow­ing im­por­tance of user ex­pe­ri­ence: Ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics is no longer just for an­a­lysts. Cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence for an­a­lyt­ics users will con­tinue to be im­por­tant as more and more busi­ness users switch to an­a­lyt­ics sys­tems for aid.

05 mass cus­tomiza­tion: Sev­eral re­ports sug­gest that global mo­bile ad­ver­tis­ing spend will touch $100 bil­lion val­u­a­tion in 2016. This in­vest­ment—to inch closer to the cus­tomer—is ex­pected to con­tinue to surge in 2017. At the same time, un­der­stand­ing the au­di­ence is vi­tal to en­sure this money is well spent. Since ex­pe­ri­ence has to be per­son­al­ized, the abil­ity to pre­dict cus­tomer’s per­son­al­ity and be­hav­ior pre­sents a clear op­por­tu­nity for tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing. Mass cus­tomiza­tion will be­come a re­al­ity if mar­keters are able to suc­cess­fully seg­ment au­di­ences ac­cord­ing to per­son­al­ity type rather than by age or gender. Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing will play a role in achiev­ing this.

06 mo­bile adop­tion cre­ates ex­cit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties:

Given the sig­nif­i­cant shift to mo­bile shop­ping, com­pa­nies will need to de­velop a mo­bile-led om­nichan­nel strat­egy rooted in a mo­bile-first mind­set. Re­search shows 58% of users be­come in­ac­tive in the first 30 days of us­ing an app. Mo­bile app an­a­lyt­ics

2

would start to in­clude a lot of geospa­tial an­a­lyt­ics. With busi­nesses ac­cu­mu­lat­ing more and more data on their cus­tomers’ lo­ca­tions and cor­re­spond­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, it is nec­es­sary for de­ci­sion mak­ers to gen­er­ate insights based on these in­for­ma­tion to in­crease cus­tomer loy­alty, sales, and other out­comes. The use of au­to­ma­tion and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence within mo­bile app an­a­lyt­ics will also be a game changer. More in-depth an­a­lyt­ics would be based around unin­stalls—the rea­sons and trig­gers for the same. In fact, ex­am­in­ing the causes of unin­stalls will play a vi­tal role in user re­ten­tion.

07 com­pa­nies will build a cus­tomer sin­gle view: In or­der to take ef­fec­tive busi­ness de­ci­sions and bet­ter in­ter­act with the cus­tomers, com­pa­nies—from key ex­ec­u­tives to cus­tomer ser­vice reps—need to build a holis­tic view of an­a­lyt­ics from all cus­tomer-fac­ing plat­forms. This does not ex­ist to­day and com­pa­nies will use the en­gi­neer­ing de­vel­oped by new-age com­pa­nies such as Face­book and Google to cre­ate such in­fra­struc­ture. Busi­nesses will need to merge data across sys­tems keep­ing the cus­tomer at the cen­tre. Brands will need to merge mo­bile app data, sales data, mar­ket­ing data, ser­vice and sup­port data, and po­ten­tially other kinds of data into a sin­gle uni­fied whole.

08 an­a­lyt­ics will de­pend even more on com­pany cul­ture: Cul­ture is key to an­a­lyt­ics adop­tion. As com­pa­nies look at an­a­lyt­ics to give them a com­pet­i­tive edge, they need to make key changes in their in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, struc­ture, pro­cesses, and cul­ture. You do not of­ten hear about a close part­ner­ship with HR for an­a­lyt­ics adop­tion, but it is crit­i­cal for this cul­ture change to start.

09 young peo­ple will dis­rupt: An­a­lyt­ics will move to­wards be­ing a young per­son’s game. Presently, the av­er­age age in on­line busi­ness is far lower. It is a fact that younger peo­ple are adopt­ing an­a­lyt­ics faster. They are get­ting ex­posed to it in their ed­u­ca­tion and are con­sum­ing it through their ‘dig­i­tal avatars.’ They see this of­ten as a ‘no brainer.’ How­ever, con­vert­ing older ex­ec­u­tives to this line of think­ing is harder. Fi­nally, the en­vi­ron­ment will force one to evolve and adapt, or per­ish. ■

AJAY KELKAR IS CO-FOUNDER AND COO OF HANSA CE­QUITY.

An­a­lysts are still uni­di­men­sional and have not yet em­braced the in­ter­sec­tion of ‘tech­nol­ogy, sta­tis­tics, and busi­ness’.

Mass cus­tomiza­tion will be­come a re­al­ity if mar­keters are able to suc­cess­fully seg­ment au­di­ences ac­cord­ing to per­son­al­ity type rather than by age or gender.

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