The new role of Data Analytics in Consultancy

What was there?

Consultancy and business data analysis have always been a closely knit. Whether it  was building a  Marketing strategy, supply chain and operations  , Financial analysis , price optimization, it goes without saying 10-80% of the projects had  to crunch numbers.

What is new?

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public Domain

Innovations in technology and cheaper editions of data storage, enabled such ease in availability and heights of data quality and security that, data analytics grew to be an indispensable part of consultancy. Yes – we are talking about the two critical C in technology today- Clouds and Censors.

Clouds & Censors

 Today a TV talks to a phone, a phone talks to car dash, A tablet  talks to that home theater there and the music system  talks to the TV – these little loops of connectivity established  between systems on wireless network  has put  our lives  right in the center of internet of things .

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainAnd every such interaction anywhere within the internet of things generates a ‘bitly’ data that has a new home – called the cloud. The sheer size of the capacity and increasingly drop in infrastructure cost has made a data rich information and potential in driving actions and decisions making just click away.

What is the impact?

Quiet a heaven for data analysts this new era has brought in the never before scope to make the  most of information. More in business consultancy than in any other field, can data be used to bring out interesting insights, nobody had ever thought of before.Did you know Wes has published

 Google-AnalyticsUsing social media analytics one  could guess the sentiment  generated in audience by  branding efforts, eCommerce product page performance  reports spell out what’s hot in the market and what’s  not, customer segment bring out the differentiated value propositions, while predictive modeling make hidden opportunities seem obvious.

The Take Away…

Thus data analytics of online /offline business has a heavyweight contribution in consultancy and it is difficult to overlook. While every form of management consultant is gradually incorporating and increasing the use of fact based insights, it is about time, consultant, strengthen their in-house analytics strength or collaborate with professional analytics firms.

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What good are online ads without analytics?

What good are online ads without analytics?

File:1953 Gem Razor Ad with

Decades back advertising was still called advertising, but analytics was not.  There could be a handful of words describing it’s to some extent – research, data interpretation, forecasting etc. but analytics is a fairly new connotation of all these put together. That is not to say analytics was not used. Advertisers, acted on every form of data available, because advertising was a business  expense and there is God in good ROI.  Understandably, like God good ROI too does not come by easily.

 

For good returns, advertisements, need to be targeted, rightly placed, positioned, coined and directed. What all this mean is a great deal of work, to understand the demographics, psychographics, time of visits , duration of visit  and general actions audience  take . Historic data can paint a picture of past and trends from past  give potential clues to future that help advertisers generate ideas and maximize effectiveness.


Optimització per a motors de
Today’s times have changed, but not the intent and purpose of advertisements. We  have new media ,several new platforms,  evolved technologies to glamorize our message but good  returns  still lies  at  the  heart  of what we call online ads. So all little snippets of texts sponsored on search engines, display networks, YouTube videos, pop up messages, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram, they now reign the arena alongside  the new age data  interpretation called analytics. Analytics of online ads, is a vast field and uniquely simple, because only ads are highly measurable.  Tools and  technology are  available , mostly free to aid our task. I’ll  have more to speak on this subject in our next post , but suffice it  to say today  that it  is truly  analytics of online commercials  that makes it worth the way.  More to come . Stay Tuned

of-Me   by-Me   for-Me.  Me on M-obil-E

ofMe   by-Me   for-Me.  Me  on  M-obil-E

Have you realized what’s common among the latest high tech electronic gadgets you picked this season? What’s one reason, you choose to discard, previous stuffs as obsolete and bring in the new to replace? What feature are deciding factors in the path to purchase?

File:1328101940 Connected.png

Why? It is the electronic parallel of the indomitable urge of human beings to remain connected.  Televisions sets to Laptops, Music systems to tablets, car dash boards to mobile phones, watches to internet etc. etc. The list goes on. Embedded with sensors these converse over the famous wireless network of worldwide connectivity, called internet.

It is virtually this internet of things that has become a part of our normal living and functioning.  A typical day starts with an alarm, not the one that pops out, but an online calendar that connects with my mobile and sets a reminder as per my daily tasks and wakes me up before I get late. I step out with an n address in the email and the GPS sitting in my dash gets busy finding the route. After office, I sit back, and play around browsing  daily feeds, when I feel like watching videos on a bigger screen. What dod I do-  I Chromecast my TV.  From things I search online to places I go visit, each and  every interaction on connected systems  identifies me , makes life simpler, fun and fast paced.

And even as we speak, there might by a toaster, an oven ,washing machine or refrigerator having a connecting sensor. That’s life today- almost racing away a life a decade back and getting better by day.

Mobile Phone, Smartphone

The one cornerstone in this internet of things that practically connects everything to each other and to itself is the mobile phone. This app driven piece of palm fitting machine, is your virtual remote control for all these devices, I mean life.  Personally or electronically – it’s yours. Recognizes you (face, palm, eye, voice detection), keeps you logged in and represent you as a distinct individual in this virtual cyber world.  Remains by your side, where ever whenever you go.  (Just keep your charger along).

And as I take a twirl around, happy to have the world a touch away, there’s a pair of eyes looking happy for me- they are of marketers and data analysts of the world.

Concept, Chart, Plan

Collecting and processing the web data involves complex infrastructure. Thankfully tools like Google Analtytics , Hadoop, are  taking care of it. But to know what to do with it, calls for a different ball game  called  universal analytics- big data  analytics . This vast data, is pregnant with critical information can and  will be used to the fullest with right planning, people , promotions and patronage in place.

Contact us for Analytics of Connected Systems and have great insights into your customers.

Data Don’t Do- That’s left for You!

Business Analytics and importance of a plan to execute!

The importance of data today can never be overstated. More now than ever before with disruptive concepts like big data and all the great information it can yield, businesses are making a serious effort to adopt analytics services.  And so is the surge of tools and applications with promises to make their job simple.

All businesses, ones producing the food we eat to those drafting insurance policies heavily depend on insights from analytics. Some run short term subcontracted project while others build an in-house teams of top class statisticians and BI experts to ensure a constant flow of insights.

And why not- these are scientifically derived tips into what to do and what not to do in business has borne sweet fruits too…

 

For McKessen , the model development necessitated the creation of a data analytics support structure of related business intelligence that did not exist before. The sheer magnitude of the number of transactions processed each day made the project challenging. McKesson Pharmaceutical Supply handles 60,000 active items in 30 distribution centers shipping two million pieces a day to 25,000 customer locations. The new data analytics has been the source for a multitude of business projects that would not have been possible before this model and is the basis for quantifying the financial impact of the changes made. Since the model was put in use in 2010, McKesson has reduced its working capital by over $1 billion from improvements in its supply chain while improving its service in critical product areas.

 

Build direct integrated Google Analytics with AdWords account applied testing data to website design improvements. It also deployed campaign tagging and advanced segmentation to identify customer demographics. It used site overlay and funnel report insights to simplify purchase flow.

As a result there was an increase search conversions by 37%, email marketing conversion rate doubled and achieved 100% increase in sample orders.

 

CordMatch faced a challenge in using and implementing technology. They work to match cancer patients to cord-blood donors to retrieve stem cells for treatment.  So they wanted to create a modern, Internet-based matching system that is fast and easy to use. Integrate graph search and big data capabilities to rapidly compute data.

Solution was having CordMatch, an Internet-based donor matching system. Neo4j, a high-performance, enterprise-level graph database. A unique algorithm for a single and double cord searches.

The database enable blood banks, transplant centers and registries to communicate. Customizable search options simplify the matching of cord blood units. Uses a combination of innovative frameworks and a big data graph.

Hedgehog Insights- Data Don't Do

Why to analytics projects fail?

But that’s the story of less than half. Almost 55% of businesses implement big data analytics projects fails. They fail to arrive at the desired results.  Many do not why they started or what they were looking for from the analysis.  

An analytics project is  essentially a data  research project- and  like any other it is driven by objectives,  has (should have) a plan to put  to effect and should be  able to link expenditure  to tangible  business outcomes. But many miss a connection to objectives in the first place, let alone an execution plan to execute it. Following are some of the potential causes of failure as per our experience and research.

1.    Failing to build the need for big data within the organization

2.    Islands of analytics with “Excel culture”. Developing silo dashboards to answer a few questions rather than strategic, tactical and operational dashboards

3.    Lack of vision and not having a strategy; not having a clear organizational communications plan

4.    Lack of upfront planning; overlooking the development of governance and program oversight. Not establishing a formal training program

 

Which brings  us  to the  conclusion, that alone  analytics cannot lift the  dilapidated state of  affairs of  a business or  for  that matter  any  business requirement however, strong the need be or  however robust the analysis is. There has to be a full-fledged effort at an organization level built on a conviction that analytics can help and will help and it is absolutely necessary  teams follow a well baked execution plan to make that happen

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

Can data analysis help get your Business Off the Ground?

Standing at crossroads of  decisions and  determined  to make  no  mistake  an entrepreneur will always look into some business insights, tips, research online and consult experts before the  next  step- That’s precisely what is data analysis.

Analytics and business research is a part and parcel of every business. Many believe these are only for large businesses to benefit from. Truth is, large businesses would have never got any far had they not started analytics as small businesses.

Take the world by a spin- have your business rule!

Take the world by a spin- have your business rule!

Actionable  insights  from time to time  can help you decide what content to put up on your website, what resources to hire, which customer  to value and reward more than others and what products lying at the back of your store is actually high in demand.

But question is how do you get started especially as startups when most of your focus is to set up your business or get it off the ground? How do you know what data to analysis, and how it will help? Here’s a question:

  • What is the one (or two) biggest constraint to your growth? Put on your analyst’s cap and brainstorm on that thing which if resolved can help your business grow faster and easier. It can be your website, social media strategy, location of your retail, financial assistance or customer preference for your product(s)
  • After you have identified the constraints , analyze how you can resolve it. Determine one metric that  you could track and see how far is your constraint resolved. This metrics defines your constraint in the sense that, its increase or decrease should show if your issues are getting fixed or not. This could be sales, cost incurred per customer, No.of customer per lead generated or event as simple as profit%.

For eg. if your constraint is  website and its performance – have a goal set . Measure number of customers per visitor or per session of time spent or bounce rates. These are just examples . Link it up with an analytic tool like – Google Analytics and give it a few weeks to gather some data. Then try to read the basic reports. Understand user behavior, in-page analytics, and conversion rates. Check the user navigation pattern and try to find where most of the traffic drops off or which pages have highest time spent. Your metrics for web performance , will be very easy to track using this tool.

If customer satisfaction poses to be the biggest constraint to your sales and return sales, try to understand the why behind customer behavior. Check out metrics like , retention rate, or no of return per sale, frequency or recency of visits for every visitor that steps into your store or your ecommerce.  A Market research describing the level of acceptability of your products or services  could be a handy document to refer. These could tell why your target group behave the way they do and clues to what you need to do about it.

Inventory management could be a constraint too. That’s when you often end up delaying a delivery or run out of stock  or end up spending most of  your budget on piles .It’s time to analyse it. Understand the seasonality of products , whats in demand, when and how much to stock. Derive trends and patterns. If  not data from your business, then look into others, A number of services, provide reports and syndicated analysis. Reach out to a  low cost report . You could also reach us for one such study.

If a store a perfect location , is  the biggest roadblock to a large number of footprints in your store, then too data will help you resolve. Look into demographics , compare it with your target group and check which location in your locality, will be the best fit. Analyse population and commercial renting rate.Draw a draft picture for your self  on possible areas and know how  to narrow down to one or two that works best.

Analysis of data can really be as varied as the number of constraints and problem you face in business.To say data guarantees success would be overrating, but sure it can increase the chance that you will win the game.. It can be a great support system to your daily decision making and put your business on the path on growth.

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business dat

a. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offer modern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

Data Data Everywhere… not a drop of Insight

This is a post about how confusing data can get for businesses and how to find a way out. It starts with a visual sketch of typical businesses caught in a sea of data – moves on to describe what it might look like in daily life and then offers a simple, step-wise, actionable solution .

Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

Is that you .. out there? Then its time you found a way to sail through!

Imagine yourself waking up in a rocking bed of sorts, with a chill breezing over your body and lots of light dazzling on your eyes. Squinting uneasily from within , you realize you are out in the open, beneath the deep blue sky, crammed in a small boat that somehow has kept you afloat on an endless mass of scary waters. That’s Mr. Pi, a direct lift from his book of ‘Life’, as you might be knowing. Amusing, it might be to imagine yourself as him, but if you were a modern day business manager /entrepreneur and woke up to a sea of data with all the pressure to behave like an analyst- it sure would have been a pain.

As modern day business manager you probably have one or all of these typical traits that show you’ve never got a chance to use data . So may be your vendors have gotten you to spend big on tools that produce great looking, pretty reports . But deep down, you feel they are dumb, at times funny, but never really insightful. May be,you’ve always felt like asking ‘SO What’ to all those metrics and numbers but never found a direct ,straightforward answer. And worst you have never paid much attention to hiring a good analyst for your business.

Relax, you are not alone.These are common traits and like every other danger posing mankind, these too can be won. Obviously, it involves a method and few steps to get all right.

Know, there are only 4 areas to look into- Your Business, Your Business Goals, Your Customers and Your Competitors. Notice how this stretches your perspective from your business to yourself to your business as entity in the market place. That really is the journey of all businesses on planet. All our business issues pertain to one or some of these areas combined. Tying data insights back to these four areas will keep it relevant but more importantly you will get to see through some problems. Already overwhelming? Try another way.Try finding answers to these:

1. What is the basic business idea, how far is it acceptable to your audience? Is your idea sale-able? Does the clicks,visits or time spent on website tell anything?

2. How far are your goals achieved? What is the conversion rate in terms of increasing sales,lowering cost and increased customer loyalty?

3. Why does this happen? Why are targets met- if at all they are? Why do customers behave or react the way they do? What’s on with your messages , communication, product lineup or customer service?

4.What else? How is your competition performing ? Which areas do you lead and which areas do others? Where do you stand in the market place ?

And as you look into each question , you will find yourself untangling the muddled up knot and comprehending each area , gleaning out insights and using it to know and manage your business better.

Always Know…..

If data to you is sea, insights will be salt laden, wasteful sea water, but if you’ve segmented it successfully , observed them linking back to areas of concern , data will really look like that beautiful lake with sweet water for life.

Now smile 🙂 you are no more in deep sea.

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts will offer modern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

When is the last time you fed them what they love?

Good newsletter feed-Newsletter analytics

How you know you have fed them well

When is the last time you fed them what they love? Newsletter analytics is a little more than clicks and opens. In case you are getting just that from your e-mailing vendor, you are missing out on a bigger and more important chunk of information. Here is a guide to how you can make the most of newsletters yourself ..

Type newsletter analytics on your search engine. Some 4.5 million records show up in 0.22 seconds. Bravo! Now try checking the links until your hand goes numb and you will see they speak about tracking your newsletter. Your search page is filled with vendors offering tools to track your newsletter. May be you already have one or maybe you will go with one like our clients. It’s trilling to see the count who received your little electronic pack of ‘big –bang-theories’, count who opened to glance through, count who clicked to read more and count who (alas) missed your newsletter.  You will get over this soon and realize it’s all too bogus and often dumb. Like our clients, who almost felt tortured with this recurring dump of counts, matching lumps of recurring expenditure? Why? Because those counts never tell you how much sales you got, cost you could reduce, or social rewards (likes & shares) you’ve earned.  Well I will not repeat ‘How great a king is content’ or ‘how awesome are calls to action’. I will instead draw your attention to 3 steps to compare your current feeds Vs what you should .Just 3 Steps.

    1. Segment topics you have used so far- categorize those to as basic levels as possible. Let’s explain with an example.  Take any story. Say it’s on ‘The Importance of Newsletter Analytics’. At a higher level it’s about marketing. But as you dissect more, you will know it’s about online marketing, direct email communication, analytics etc. It’s like placing it exactly where it belongs, in the right folder.  Now take each issue and repeat this for each of the topics. By the time you are done for all issues you will have a small database with great info in store? Why? Read on ..

   2, Map your counts of opens and clicks. The counts of opens and clicks you’ve had so far will come to  a real use now. You will know what ‘exactly/precisely’ have been accepted, what was dumped and what did not matter to your audience. So it may reveal something you had  been working  hard for long , really  does not  interest them , but a piece of story that’s been  lying  on your desk , was better. Isn’t that a goldmine of information? Sure it is. It indicates popularity of one topic over another, and their trends over months and years.

 You may also be using calls to action, which is obviously different from just feeding in   stories. It requires the reader to take an action and therefore there is a little more than just mapping topics to clicks. Read on this http://bit.ly/1msuzwn

  3.     Check with the market:  You have got a data base . You know how each topic performed now  check with the market. Research. Rummage the internet , dive into books/journals ,get hands on  trends and syndicated  studies that tells what your target  audience  actually prefer. Compare it with what you have  been feeding  and  know  where  you stand. Are you at par with their area of  interest or  falling out.  Customize your newsletter  strategy. Align it  to your business goals . And…all set to start afresh.

With such comparisons over a period , you will have a good  knowledge about  what works and  what does not .Thereby you’ve  have  put  yourself and  your  business in a very advantageous position to make  the most of  your newsletter and  all the  time money and effort you have  invested.

About Hedgehog Insights We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .

Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

Imagine yourself waking up one morning   in a rocking bed of sorts, with a chill breezing over your body and lots of light dazzling on your eyes. Squinting uneasily from within the lids, you realize you are out in the open, beneath the deep blue, crammed in a small boat that somehow has kept you afloat on an endless mass of scary blue waters. That’s Mr. Pi, you must be exclaiming. A direct lift from his book of ‘Life’.  It may be amusingly shocking to think of yourself as Mr. Pi, but if you were a modern day business manager and woke up to a sea of data with all the pressure to behave like an analyst- it sure would have been a pain.

As modern day business  manager you probably have one or all  of  those  typical traits  that shows you’ve never got a chance to use data .  Your vendors have gotten you to spend big on tools producing great looking, pretty reports. While deep down, you actually felt they are dumb, at times even funny, but never really insightful.  A disproportionately higher portion of your budget is spend on tools and gadgets. But talk about spending on a hire, on great analytical minds, who actually do the analysis- well that’s something you never heard before, right? If these were not enough, here’s one more- “So what?” – A question that’s been clouding your thoughts, whenever you saw those numbers from websites and social media. They never make sense, and worse, they generate confusion.

Relax, you are not alone. These are common traits and like every other danger posing mankind, this too can be won.  There is obviously a method to it and few step to get it right.

Know, there are only 4 areas to look into- Your business, your business goals, your customers and your competitors. Notice how we stretched our perspective from an idea born in mind to a business entity in the market place. That really is the journey of all businesses on the planet. All our business issues pertains to one or some of these areas combined. Tying data insights back to these four areas will keep it relevant but more importantly will help you use them to solve issues. Already overwhelming? Here’s another way to look at it. Try answering these questions.

  1.    What is  the idea, what is  the acceptability, what does the click stream data say about your website and  social media.

  2.     How are your goals met, to what extent? What are your micro conversions?

  3. Why does  this  happen- understanding customer behavior , their reaction to your offering , your messages and advertisement

 4.     What else- how does it relate to your completion where do you stand in the market place against your defending competitors?

And as you look  into each question , you will find  yourself untangling the muddled up  knot and comprehending  each area ,  gleaning  out  insights and using it to know and manage your business better.

Always Know…..

If  data to you is  sea, insights will obviously be salt laden , unusable sea water, but if  you’ve segmented it  successfully , observed them linking back to  areas of  concern , data  will really look like that beautiful  lake with sweet water for  life.

 Now Smile J you are no more in deep sea.