Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Is your CEO an analytical amateur?

If he isn't one, he better be. With the proliferation of Big Data for better insights and decision making within an organization, it is very important for startups, small businesses and big businesses to understand analytics for better decision making.

Robert Morison calls Analytical amateurs as, "Analytical business people who are ready, able, and eager to use better information and analyses in their work, as well as to work with the professionals on analytics projects."

This does not mean amateurish but only implies that analytics is not your prime occupation. Morison adds that "Amateurs can be very accomplished analytically – in using analytical applications, envisioning additional opportunities for using analytics, and participating as business staff on analytics projects."

Similarly for small businesses who don't really feel they need data analytics and rely more often on their honed intuition and understanding of the consumer against the Goliath can invest in big data to increase returns. It can make them pro-active in decision making rather than reactive to market sentiment.

Donnelly and Simmons explain that once small businesses they worked with were given access to loyalty-card data, most of the small firms took to it immediately. "They were quick to adopt a more formalized approach to marketing planning. They were able to envision long-range innovations, rather than reacting to competitors’ or the retailers’ actions."

Although they add that "for small and medium-size firms that do manage to acquire consumer data, there’s still more work to be done: They need to be sure to encourage employees to participate in thinking about how to use the information competitively."

Being competitive today means not just being close to your consumer through interactions but also understanding trends through data. It requires your CEO to be an analytical amateur!