Analytics is not a Noun, it is a Verb. (Or at least it should be)

by Steve Kerr

The great American Inventor – Thomas A. Edison – was once quoted as saying that “the value of an idea lies in the using of it.” Now, we all know that Mr. Edison, also known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park”, went on to have an amazing career, both as an inventor and business professional. Over his lifetime, he amassed over a thousand (1,093) U.S. patents and many more in other countries. He is credited with so many monumental inventions that we could spend days on end describing his many treasured gifts to our current world.

The one gift of his I want to highlight is his perspective on value creation. Thomas Edison believed that “if we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” This is true on so many different levels, and runs parallel with the role analytics plays in creating value itself.

When you think of analytics, you may think of the output of numbers — in general — from a singular data source or maybe even from an extremely large, complex integration of many different data sources. No matter where your starting point is, analytics can play a valuable role in bringing those numbers to life.

Analytics can tell a story in meaningful and relevant ways (integration into regular business intelligence reporting, strategy formulation, or even operational efficiency to name a few) that allow your company to become smarter and perform better. Analytics is a fundamental key to the future success of many companies throughout the world, as their leaders understand the importance of its many benefits.

Some of the overall benefits of analytics include, but are definitely not limited to:

1) Uncovering critical business insights

2) Creating significant strategic recommendations

3) Discovering optimizable customer product and service offerings

4) Predicting operational efficiency in key areas

5) Overall, producing opportunities which led to the accomplishment of strategic goals

 

So, where is the actual value in analytics created from above? It is derived – just as Mr. Edison described it in his now famous quote – from using those ideas. In order to get optimized value from your analytics, you have to – simply put – be willing to optimize your tracking of your business insights, your strategic recommendations, your customer product and service offerings, your operational efficiency metrics, or any other function of your business that you are applying analytics to.

You must put your output – or “idea” as Mr. Edison put it – into action. Then test it, track it, optimize it, and repeat the iterative process until you have reached – or in some cases – surpassed your strategic goals.

This leads to one of the most fundamental lessons in analytics that so many thought leaders in the field have stressed in the past. This is eloquently summarized by American writer Richard Bach below:

 

“Any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless until we choose to use it.” — Richard Bach

 

Even the most well educated and highly experienced thought leaders in analytics have expressed some form of this notion of willingness to adopt a data-driven, analytics mentality. There is no doubt it takes some getting used to.

It must be a collaborative, forward-thinking, and constructive experience for all members included. In this way, analytics becomes valuable; because it is brought to life, put into action, and put to work for you. This is analytics in action, and it can be one of your business’ future growth drivers.

Having a strategic partner that is both dedicated and willing to take on such analytics opportunities is pivotal to success. We can help!

Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr

Senior Analytics Manager