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Getting Value from Analytics
By Peter Appleby, Head of Data Science, Auto Trader Group plc.
Data and analytics are two of the most talked about topics amongst business leaders today. Successfully exploiting an organization’s data promises great rewards from creating internal tools to inform decision making, to building novel data-driven products that offer new commercial opportunities.
Building the infrastructure required to capture data, and developing the analytical skills to understand it, are two key steps on this journey. But by themselves they are not enough. After all, every organization now has access to data and many are rapidly building their analytical capabilities. So how can a business maximise the value of analytics and really stand out?
The Data Journey
In the early stages of the data journey it makes sense to tackle the big wins first.
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Having built the tools and capabilities, the problem becomes how to focus them in the most effective way
Real-time monitoring and forecasting of key performance metrics or improving statistical rigour around processes like A/B testing can have an immediate impact. But as an organization moves along its data journey deciding where to deploy resources can become more of a challenge. Having built the tools and capabilities, the problem becomes how to focus them in the most effective way.
An important step is to define what value means to your organization. There is no single answer to this, businesses use data in different ways and will find value in different places. Only by looking at what your business is trying to achieve and clearly understanding the value you are trying to deliver to your customers can a coherent analytics strategy be formed. Broad input from across the organization is essential as everything from the kind of data you have available to your overall business strategy feed into this. Whatever the outcome, be it a focus on better monitoring or decision making all the way up to creating new data-driven products, having a clear idea of what you want to achieve with analytics is critical to its success.
Create your Own Path
Creating an analytics strategy isn’t easy. There isn’t a recipe to follow, no one single solution that works for everyone. The key is to clearly articulate what is important for your business then focus on the data and analytics projects that directly align with this. There will be a lot of noise, and competing businesses might be making very different decisions, but ultimately success will go to those who focus where the value is and have the confidence to ignore the rest.