How can organizations use Data effectively to overcome challenges?

Understanding the Business Analytics Value Chain

Data in its existing form will not be good enough to decipher and address the most prominent challenges  being faced by SMEs. Instead, data needs to be mined and structured well to allow us to extract relevant information from it. These inferences can spur better business decisions due to the vast nature of their source and knowledge can back presumptions in order to build up a concise understanding of business. A business analytics tool gathers, manages and analyses raw data to present easy-to-grasp information for managers and analysts.  It can observe business activity and performance which helps to boost business as well as to adjust swiftly to evolving industry and economic developments, as well as enable healthy decision-making around conflicting information to help identify business opportunities.

If any organisation wants to implement business analytics and intelligence, then firstly, they should understand and clarify about the value of a high-quality data resource that supports their tools. This high-quality data resource contains data that will be utilized for gathering the information and the information-engineering process. It helps in the determination and presentation of business information to fulfil the organisational demand. It can be said that quality of data resource will increase the quality of the value chain to promote the business. The value chain starts from data resource to extract information that supports knowledge environment. Then this knowledge environment will act as basics for business intelligence for making business strategies (Brackett, 1999). In simple terms, the business value analytics chains start’s with understanding of what kind of data one has and how should one approach the raw data to leverage, thus find the expected results. The below given table explains the context.  It starts from identifying data resource and ends with driving sensible information & making it meaningful of it.

Business Analytics Value Chain

Data Collection Data Storage Data Analysis Advanced Analytics Presentation
Data collection from primary source Integrating data from multiple sources Ad-hoc Query



Predictive
Analysing, Interpreting Results

Data Warehousing Statistical Modelling Risk Consulting Services to Clients
Data Validation & Cleansing MIS Reporting Sales & Marketing Operational / Tactical
Decision Making
Structured Reports , Customized Dashboards

Where does Tathwamasi fit in?

We at Tathwamasi use various tools and techniques for data mining, pattern matching, data visualization and predictive modelling for the continuous methodological exploration of past business data to develop new insights about the business performance and facilitate business planning.

The primary goal of any analytics exercise in a company is to inform the management about the health of the business, at times forewarn of both, impending problems and opportunities, and throw light on what to best expect in the medium-term future. These tools help identify and develop new opportunities, providing companies with competitive market advantage and long-term stability. Our services include scorecards, dashboards, analytics, data mining and reports with simple drill downs good enough to start your journey using existing available tools.

Analytics typically combines high-level data from each department in-order to gain an understanding of how the organization is functioning as a whole. It helps in identifying the critical strength and weakness of the business and presents ways to increase efficiency and enhance revenue. It also enables Mid-Sized Companies to estimate how much investment can be put to use and gain control over inventory investment.

Tathwamasi helps in providing solution to some critical issues:

  • How do I know how good my decisions are in various functions Marketing / Finance / HR /Sales Operations?
  • How to decide product pricing and discounts/ deals?
  • What metrics do I track?
    • Product Metrics e.g. Market share; Market Penetration
    • Brand Metrics e.g. Brand Salience
    • Sales Metrics e.g. Channel Productivity
    • Customer Metrics e.g. Customer Loyalty
  • How different is one customer from another?
    • Customer Segmentation Techniques
  • How do these business marketing metrics swing together?
    • At the Market Level and Organization Level
      • Marketing Mix Models
      • Impact of Aggregate Advertising on Aggregate Sales
    • At a customer Level
      • Consumer Behaviour Metrics
  • Forecasting Propensity to Buy and Propensity to Churn
  • How much to reorder of an existing product line?
  • How can the inventory levels be optimised for maximum profit?
  • How to track the most profitable transaction?
  • Enhance new product introductions by understanding purchasing trends and better forecasting how different markets and customer segments will respond

Importance of Business Analytics

Business Analytics has become an important requirement for companies that want to be competitive—and stay that way. While certain kinds of advanced analytics have been on the market for decades, adoption is finally increasing for a number of reasons, including the economic climate, the availability of computing power, the growth in the amount and variety of data, and a greater appreciation of the power of analytics. The companies are moving towards more forward-looking analytics in order to increase operational efficiency, reduce fraud and waste, deliver incisive marketing campaigns, improve financial outcomes, and predict business risk. With aspirations of offering greater business value to the customers and to deal with domestic and global competitive challenges, the Mid-Sized Companies in India are turning to true business assessment and performance management solutions. Forecasting, business analytics and similar tools are vital for them in order to manage the amount of data generated – it grows at an exponential rate with the accumulation of all-types of data – financial & accounting data, sales & marketing data, production data, HR related data, etc.

It is vital not only to possess data; but to be able to analyse it with a view to gain business insight. Unfortunately, this is one task that many Mid-Sized Companies are not equipped do. This is precisely the reason for the adoption of Business Analytics tools by them. 

Benefits of Using Analytics Based Tools

Business analytics tools are a key to transformation success. However, Mid-Sized Companies struggle with data accuracy and quality. The need of the hour is to empower the sector so that it is able to take its rightful place as the growth engine of the economy. In order to achieve this target, it is necessary to support the Mid-Sized Companies, educate and empower them to make optimum utilization of the resources. Mid-Sized Companies need to be educated and informed of the latest developments taking place globally and be helped to acquire skills necessary to keep pace with the global developments. 

In order to move up the value chain and increase their penetration, it is fundamental that quality and quantity of relevant data is coming from a structured data source. Most Mid-Sized Companies keep their data in an unstructured format which cannot be used effectively. Database for the large enterprises which can be used for analytics is available at several places in a structured way. For Mid-Sized Companies, this database is not available. Tathwamasi can play a greater role in compiling such granular data which could lead to better analysis of this sector. We garner a lot of data in a structured format and making it readily accessible, which can be later used for the benefits of Mid-Sized Companies.

Tathwamasi can leverage existing tools like spreadsheets, build and create datasets, integrate with your company specific data to provide organization users with a complete view of their business performance. 

To conclude

Business Analytics is emerging as a tool in helping Mid-Sized Companies improve their performance and gain real time insight about the business. Mid-Sized Companies can vastly improve the effectiveness and accuracy of business planning without implementing a large and expensive system. Mid-Sized Companies must seriously consider these analytics-based tools which would help improve their sales, optimize inventory, understand customer and product behaviour patterns, etc with a view to build up more efficient, robust, progressive & profitable business.    

About Venkatesh

Venkatesh K Iyengar, Founder & CEO Tathwamasi Inc, agile, data analytics, strategic management consulting and training partnerships for organizations. He can be reached on venkatesh@tathwamasi.com

Do join for a special workshop designed by Tathwamasi for CEOs, CXOs and Leadership teams of SMEs: https://tathwamasi.com/events/training-workshop

Know more about Tathwamasi’s services: https://tathwamasi.com.