Am I The Simon Cowell of Analytics?

Last week I had the pleasure to help out a good friend who teaches at the University of Makati. He teaches a marketing elective class to high school students who are in the new 11th grade. FYI for those not familiar the Philippines is in the process of instituting two additional years to the education system here so its on par with the US and many of the countries in having a K-12 program.

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Anyway, El asked me to be part of a panel of judges for the class as they gave group presentations based on marketing plans that they developed. The plan was based on a project they had been working on for a while which is to set up an operate as a small business. It’s a great way to train future entrepreneurs and would be marketing majors and it made me feel a little like Simon Cowell.

I was honored to be one of three judges and we spent about two hours as the five groups of 5-10 students each presented their plans. And the best part was all of the 5 groups had set up food sales businesses and had samples. It was a lot of fun and the food was masarp (Tagalog for delicious).

As each group presented their plan I gave them feedback mostly on how did they validate their assumptions, did they collect any data, did they survey, how social media could play into their plans, etc. In all cases, I stressed the importance of showing data and visualizing it in ways that could be more impressive to potential investors.

I hope my feedback and advice helped them fine tune their marketing strategies and I would love to see them again when they are ready for OJT “on the job training” for their college internship requirements.

It was a lot like the TV show SharkTank but with great snacks! 🙂

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Analytics and Process Improvement

Had an interesting text conversation yesterday that I thought worth sharing as it brings up a good question… can you have process improvement without analytics?

I got a text randomly yesterday from a friend who is considering a new job as an analyst for a hospital.

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Friend: Hi Dan, I got a question on analytics. If I wanted to increase the utilization of rooms in a hospital, what kind of data should I be looking at?

Me: Do you want a well thought out plan or a quick and dirty answer?

Friend: I suppose quick and dirty.

Me: Length of patient stay. % of special needs patients. Physical dimensions of space to see if space is optimized. Understanding of patient process flow to see where wasted time is. Then put it all together to come up with some current metrics and then track against optimal case metrics.

Friend: What exactly do I need to be looking for if I go look at length of stay? What are optimal case metrics?

Me: To optimize usage, you need to gather data for key metrics as they currently are. And then project the same metrics is everything was working at its most efficient state. Length of stay is a key metric as you need to determine what is causing longer than expected patient stays. This will help you minimalism things causing wasted time. Analytics will identify waste and then you use metrics reporting to manage the waste. Make sense? This sounds like as much a process improvement project as it does analyst work doing some new metrics reporting. It could be a very interesting project with both short-term consulting on the process improvement and long-term need for an analyst to monitor the data via metrics reporting.

Friend: Yeah, you are making lots of sense. So, if I were trying to shorten length of stay, I would look at current length of stay per case. Then look for all the factors impacting length of stay, and then improve the process flow for the ones where its taking too long.

Dan: Something like this is how I would start.

Based on my experience, when you are presented with a business problem and asked to help solve it. It’s almost always an issue of a process that is inefficient or wasteful that is the root cause, but you need plenty of data to identify that. A good analyst is just as much a process improvement guru as they are a reporting expert.

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Analytics Consulting – As a founding member of Gloabl Chamber Manila, DMAIPH specializes in a variety of analytics consulting solutions designed to empower analysts, managers and leaders with the tools needed for more data-driven decision-making.

We have helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines, get more analytics in their business.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can tailor an analytics solution made just for your unique requirements.