摘要： Without a strategy in place to analyze and act upon your data, you'll get bogged down, sifting for worthy nuggets.
Data is being generated and collected at an astonishing rate. Companies hoping to duplicate the success of data-first organizations like Amazon are jumping on the bandwagon, collecting every scrap of information they can. But without a plan to analyze and act upon this data, it is easy to get bogged down by minutiae with no real impact.
The first (and often skipped) step in creating an analytics strategy is mapping it to business goals. Dazzled by the wealth of available data, companies don’t know what is important and what is a distraction. They treat data analysis like panning for gold -- sift through everything, and sooner or later you’re bound to find a nugget of value.
Smart use of data analytics can create efficiencies and build synergies across the organization. Marketing can find more qualified leads. Sales can negotiate personalized pricing based on risk profiles. Supply chains can move inventory more efficiently. Customer service can build deeper relationships or repair damaged ones. Accounts receivable can predict and reduce late payments. But you cannot reach a goal that has never been defined. When you know the desired outcome, data analytics can map a path to achieve it.
Identifying the issue
Once you have named the problems, it is critical not to try fixing everything at once. Implementing analytics programs at scale is notoriously difficult. Successful companies prioritize, focusing first on the areas with the greatest potential impact.
If information overload is one side of the coin, focusing too narrowly is the other. Looking at finite metrics like revenue alone, companies can miss out on opportunities to improve in areas like logistics or human resources. Keeping an open mind to new data can increase return on investment by offering insights into inefficiencies no one has considered.
Many legacy companies still think artificial intelligence is just the latest tool to plug into their existing infrastructure. But to gain a real competitive edge, leaders must stop seeing data analytics as an IT project. In a 2019 survey, management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found companies with the greatest overall growth in revenue and earnings grew by transforming the corporate culture into one driven by data. Twenty-one percent of respondents who had met their corporate goals ranked a data and analytics strategy as their No. 1 key to success - while a growing share of those falling short of their goals acknowledged being hindered by a lack of such strategy.
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