Understanding Data is Understanding the Opportunity

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Understanding data is a competitive necessity for every business.  By understanding data you can make informed strategic and tactical decisions.

We recently ran a marketing benchmark diagnostic session with a group of CEOs and business owners and working in the Tony Abbott spirit of ‘Australia is open for business’ I asked the businesses in the room ‘what is their biggest opportunity? rather than the usual question of ‘their biggest challenge’

Round the table came back new product launches, new services, new markets to open – domestically and internationally – wow, plenty going on, Australia IS back in business. Then I asked the question ‘what size is the opportunity?’ No one could answer.

I read an article in BOSS magazine ‘Get a handle on the big data’ It told me things like we live in an era of big data, whether you work in financial services, transport, building products, franchising – analytics and data are becoming a competitive necessity for every business. Businesses need data that help them make strategic and tactical decisions – and we would agree with that.

Data never lies; we recently used an insights program to tell a client what they weren’t rather than what they were. They insisted they were a generalist in their sector, in fact they are a well -respected niche AND there was another $70m of market share in that ‘niche’ for the taking.

So what do we suggest our clients need to know?

  • Sector Insights – what’s going on in your sector?
  • Customer Insights – what’s happen for their clients today?
  • Customer Foresights – what problems can they help their client solve to keep them competitive?
  • Competitor Insights – what are you competitors doing today?
  • Competitor Foresights – what are your competitor looking at to gain advantage?

It needs to be aligned with your business strategy, across your whole business.

Information recently released by the AGSM [Australian Graduate School of Management] tells us that businesses who have and understanding of data, metrics and insights are much stronger performers.

So the BOSS article gave us 6 steps to making analytical decisions:

  1. Recognise the problem or question that you need the data to answer
  2. Review previous findings – what else has been done in this area
  3. Model the solutions – what factors will impact on the outcome
  4. Collect the data
  5. Analyse the data
  6. Present and act on the results

Finally, it warns us to ‘ignore data at our peril’.

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