How To Use Data To Make a Business More Profitable

I’m often asked how investing in analytics will make a small business more profitable?

In my answer, I often quote a few data points from a study of 400 companies that the consulting firm Bain conducted. They found the companies with the most developed analytics capabilities commanded a larger market share. In addition, they were twice as likely to be in their sector’s top 25% for profitability, and five times more likely to make swifter decisions than competitors. Considering these statistics, businesses that are not exploiting the potential of big data analytics are certain to fall behind.

Sometimes I mention a study by the University of Texas that analyzed data sets from Fortune 1000 corporations and measured the impact data analytics had on profits. Some notable findings included:

  • Companies could increase profit by more than $2 billion a year by making just 10% of available data usable.
  • Return on equity increased by 16% by making data more accessible.
  • When advanced reporting was deployed, return on investment increased by 0.7% — which is equal to $2.87 million in additional revenue.
  • Most importantly, a comparably low investment in data analytics was required to produce these significant gains.

But just quoting a bunch of statistics is far from compelling.

That’s one of the challenges of “selling” big data solutions to small businesses. All the stats are not very relatable.

It takes time to get to know a business in a way that a tailored solution can be designed. Every business uses data differently, so no two solutions are the same.

That is why I walk entrepreneurs, small business owners and leaders through an assessment. With this we link hinderances in their analytics process to solutions that mitigate the hinderances. We can also look for technologies to optimize the storage, analysis and presentation of data. Only then can we set targets to achieve the benefits mentioned in the Bain and UT studies.

And for me that is both satisfying as business coach and fun as a data nerd.

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Putting Your Data to Work. Let’s Get Started

For those of you who follow me and have not yet attended one of my trainings, I want to share with you what we do. Here are some excerpts from a recent talk I gave in Chicago with Powerteam International.

Let’s talk about how to master your data to increase your income. Over the next couple of blog posts I’m going to walk you through some tips on how to increase the insight you glean from your data and use that to increase yyour income. We’re going to cover five things.

First of all, we’re going to talk about how big data is a wave of disruption. It’s causing massive disruptions in every industry and every type of business. We’re going to talk about how data analytics is a process. You have to be able to understand the entire process, to be able to master the data in your business.

Next, we’re going talk about how to find the right data at the right time. Like anything worth finding, this will require a map. You have to be able to look at your data throughout your business like you’re mapping something and going from start to finish.

We will next cover talking making impactful data visualizations. It is actually something that is quite hard to do, so I am going to talk about some tips on how to make some better visualizations.

Then finally we will cover storytelling with data, which is how you influence decision makers.

To recap…

1. Big Data is Disruption

2. Analytics as a Process

3. Finding the Right Data

4. Data Visualization

5. Storytelling with Data

I generally cover this subject matter over a two-day course, but for written consumption I have condensed it.

I have made it very layman.

So, we’re not going sit here and go through a lot of complicated technical stuff. This is more of a high-level perspective of my experience. Of what I know about analytics and why I want to share with you.

A little about me, so I have about 20 plus years of experience working with analytics or data analysis work. Most of my professional experience came with Wells Fargo Bank.

I worked for 15 years with Wells Fargo’s as a senior analyst. For the last seven or eight years though after I left Wells Fargo, I set up my own business. I’ve been teaching people how to be analysts. Talking to companies about how to use more data in their decision-making. Talking to people about how to really level up with their business.

I’ve been doing a lot of that in Asia and I just recently moved to Florida. I am expanding my business towards the East Coast and up here in Chicago. I also have a master’s in education. I was a teacher before I was an analyst. My favorite thing to do is talk about analytics in a way that could help empower people. This is me fulfilling my destiny.

I have a company called Sonic Elevate. Since 2011, we have trained over 8,000 people. Conducted over 186 trainings. We’ve worked on over 50 projects across Southeast Asia.

We at Sonic, work with a wide range of companies, a broad spectrum of types of businesses. The one thing they all have in common is they all have a lot of data and they’re all struggling to use that data effectively. It doesn’t matter how big or how powerful or how amazing a company is. They have to really look at data in a way that allows them to constantly optimize this.

I want to share with you a few of those things that some of these companies do within the framework of the outline I listed above.

Big Data, Analytics, Data Governance, Data Visualization and Storytelling with Data.

If you want to attend a training or set up some time for a 1 on 1 coaching session, let’s connect.

https://www.coachtheworld.com/en/dataiswealth

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Getting Buy In From the Top

One of the biggest reasons analytics projects fail is that they are not fully supported by senior management.

According to Gartner, more than half of all analytics projects failbecause they aren’t completed within budget or on schedule, or because they failto deliver the features and benefits that are optimistically agreed on at their outset.

I’ve seen a lot of studies like this, asking why big data projects fail, why companies come up short with their digital transformation efforts or why going out and hiring a rock star, data scientist fails to fix everything. Quite often it’s because the bosses never really believed that great analytics was going to be make much of a difference as compared to just basic analysis and reporting.

I’m fact, lack of management support, was among the top 3 reasons analytics projects fail in a survey I conducted of over 700 analytics professionals via LinkedIn a few years ago.

When someone in an organization identifies a need for better analytics, one of the first things they need to do is get buy in from the top.

In a lot of cases, people will just jump to the conclusion that this is a technical problem. One that can be fixed with a technical approach.

However, it’s often the case that the real problem is in the culture of the business. And when that’s the case, technical solutions usually fail.

I recently wrapped up an 18 month training project with Accenture’s operations in the Philippines. We trained over 400 Accenture team members in Applied Analytics at the request of their top brass. Their support was essential in getting the ball rolling, fine tuning the training curriculum and filling up each class with 25 analytics minded employees.

Wether it be sending people to a training, buying a new piece of technology or adding staff, you’ll need their support to make sure you are successful.

Applied Analytics with Accenture

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Bullish on the Bee

I know I’ve had an interesting career when I get excited about a news article announcing the merger of the Philippines biggest name in fast food with a California based coffee chain.

Why? Because I’ve trained business analysts from both companies and have some insights into how both of them work with their data.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jollibee, it’s basically the Filipino McDonalds but with a lot of Filpino-centric fast food options and a much cuter mascot. They dominate their home market and they have expanded around the globle. Where ever your find significant pockets of Filipinos, you can find a Jollibee.

As for Coffee Bean (CBTL) its a California based coffee and tea chain that lives in the Starbuck’s shadow. The have a fairy random footprint and really aren’t the first coffee of choice anywhere I know of.

But for Jollibee it seems like a smart move to acquire Coffee Bean. A lot of CB locations are in malls and business hubs are off to the side and not front in center. They couldn’t compete with the Starbucks for the same floor space and that reality makes them mostly an after thought.

Plus there is nothing special about their menu. Nothing bad, but nothing great either. Plus they have an ever growing amount of competition in a market (coffee) that may be peaking as younger customers like alternatives like milk tea and pearl tea.

On the other hand, Jollibee is an absolute monster of a competitor. They dominate the lower end of the market. Adding CB gives them a presence in more higher end market places. In a lot of malls and business districts, Jollibee is either not present or stuck in the basement with the other fast food brands. But CB can be front in center right. If Jollibee infuses some cash into improving the location of the CB stores, it should be pretty successful.

Plus Jollibee’s marketing is one of the best in the business. They consistently product content that is heartwarming, enchanting and really works. And the bee, that is one of the most beloved mascots I have ever seen. Way better then a quasi creepy clown or a very outdated southern colonel. If they can get people feel the same way about a cup of CB coffee they do about a yumburger, that its a golden marraige.

One more thing, I always mention when I talk about Jollibee. I can 100% guarantee, that in any room full of Filipinos, there is one thing they have all done. No matter their age, income, education.. .they have all attended a birthday party at a Jollibee. If you think McDonalds is a pure representation of middle America, than times that by 10 and you get what Jollibee is to the Filipino.

Now that all just on the outisde. On the inside, Jollibee has spent a lot on its internal data processing and decision making. They have crushed McDo in the Philippines based on an old school model of overwhelming numbers. But since then, they have gotten smarter. I saw that in their analysts and the way they were using data to solve business problems. There success is multifaceted, but a key pieces of it is their business culture is much more data-centric than their competitors. They have a deep and wide ranging strategy to keep adding complementary pieces (they bought the Philppines Burger King franchise last year) to the brands they offer… now they have added another potential winner.

Expectedly, Jollibee’s stock took a dive the day after the announcement on the Philippines Stock Exchange. Short term mindset and conservative investors worry its a mistake to get into the coffee business and many are still waiting to see how the Burger King acquisition plays out. But not me. Based on what I’ve seen, inside and out, I think its a shrewd move.

I’m quite bullish on the bee.

Time to invest in some shares.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/24/business/jollibee-coffee-bean-tea-leaf/

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Why Manila Needs A Quantum Mastermind

Per wikipedia, a mastermind groupis a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members. The concept was coined in 1925 by author Napoleon Hillin his book The Law of Success, and described in more detail in his 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich. In his books, Hill discussed the idea of the Master Mind, which referred to two or more people coming together in harmony to solve problems.

I had never really heard of the this concept until I met Bill Walsh, America’s Small Business Expert at a Small Business Expo a few months ago. Meeting Bill was a game changer.

After listening to Bill talk to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners for 45 minutes, I was shocked to see I had made 4 pages of notes. I immediately signed up to lead a mastermind in Orlando, Florida as I was in the early stages of expanding my business to the Sunshine State.

This is a big deal for me because as a data guy, I tend to execute my business decisions after pretty thorough analysis. But I saw an opportunity and I went for it. I had my first mastermind meeting after 45 days of planning and was successful in bringing together an initial groups of liked mind professionals committed to raising their game through collaboration and mind share.

And then it occurred to me, that if Masterminds are being successfully implemented across the U.S.. why not the Philippines?

Having devoted a huge % of the last decade to leading a charge to upskill the analytics talent in the Philippines, I should be doing the same with a mastermind.

The upward trajectory of small business and entrepreneurship in the Philippines continues to quicken. And in all my years training people to use analytics, I have worked with thousands of Filipinos working for small businesses or themselves looking to be more competitive. Analytics is a big part of leveling up your business. They’re are a lot more pieces to the puzzle of business success, but it occurred to me there was one key one missing.

Masterminds.

I learned back in 2011, that when it comes to economic opportunity in the Philippines, the sky is the limit. My adopted home is a land of almost unlimited potetnial.

So in partnership with Bill Walsh and Powerteam International I will be launching a series of Quantum Mastermind’s in Metro Manila and across the Philippines.

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like the Analytics Association of the Philippines, Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

When the Game Changer Arrives

When you least expect it, that is when it happens.

When you stop looking for something, what you are looking for finds you.

At least that is what happened to me the past two days as I attend a couple of amazing events produced by Powerteam International.

48 hours ago I was in a bit of a funk.

Maybe more than a bit of funk. It was actually about fourteen months ago when I came to the conclusion that I needed a new mountain to climb.

I am one of those people who live for the journey, not the destination. When I check off all of the boxes I wanted to check off in a certain pursuit, I need to move on to something different.

So when I pretty much achieved all I had set out to do in the Philippines, I started looking for something new to do back in the U.S. My absolute favorite thing to do is talk about analytics in front of an audience hungry to level up with their ability to optimize data. It took 8 years, but I had pretty much become the biggest name in analytics training in the Philippines. So what is my follow up to that?

I spent the past year plus exploring how to get more involved in using analytics for civic responsibility and advocating for a more data-driven electorate. However, I just couldn’t find a place where I could pour my passion into.

Long story short, that brought me to the Small Business Expo in Orlando two days ago.

Having just spent a day exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I was mentally well rested and ready to get out there and network as I was planning to basically rebuild my training advocacy that I had built in the Philippines, but now in North Central Florida.

One more point, before talking in depth about my Game Changing Day.

I took this private tour safari at the animal park. I was setting out on the deck overlooking the savannah section of the park watching giraffes, spring buck and really, really big horned cows as the sun started to set.

It was a beautiful moment. And honestly it was not cheap. It cost like $180. But man was it worth it.

I said to myself, I love this. I want to keep doing this kind of stuff. But I’m gonna need to make a lot more money if I want to really have the lifestyle I want.., to travel, to explore, to experience. In short, I need to be rich to get to the top of my next mountain.

Unsure how I would get there, but ready to start a new chapter I entered the Expo.

At first glance it was like any number of similar expos that I have been to over the years. A bunch of workshops, an exhibitor area, a main stage with a bunch of speakers I hadn’t heard of before. So I got into networking mode.

Attending a couple of workshops and walked half the exhibitor area, picking up a few ideas and 1–2 good leads. And then it all changed.

I attended a workshop by a guy named Bill Walsh. Yeah being a lifelong 49ers fan, that was the main reason I picked this workshop.

Before I knew it, I had filled up several pages of notes. Like how to use your book to build your business without even finishing the book. I mean Bill was giving me a lot of really good small business ideas that make a ton of sense. Another that stuck out was the idea of selling from stage. Honestly, the fact that I was getting all this for free was quite remarkable.

And then the sales pitch came. Like most speakers Bill had something to offer us. In this case a Public Speakers Camp. Five days of intense training to up your game as a speaker to really optimize your time on stage. Sounds awesome. The kicker, the price tag was kinda high… probably too high for 90% of the attendees.

So at the end, I hung around. Fired up by the pages of notes I had taken and seeing the potential that abounds in what Bill said. I really could focus more on my passion (public speaking) to offer what I am good at (analytics training) that will enable more of my prime motivator in life (travel).

I got a deeper understanding on the offer and started to sense it could be a game changer. It’s a significant investment, but if it pans out this could shave two years off of my business development plan. I could easily be making 7 figures in the near future.

The Platinum Speaker Program, five days with 20 like-minded individuals being taught by Bill. All kinds of help with refining your offer, polishing you message and picking up best practices. With a promise to be put in stage within 60 days. Sounds kinda too could to be true right?

That’s what most of us would think. And we would never stop thinking.

But I get it. I see exactly how this would benefit someone like me.

So I signed up.

But I still didn’t appreciate the scope of what I had signed up for.

After talking with Bill, I went back to the exhibitor area. And started to fit the pieces together.

Several of the speakers had done what I was doing. And one after another, as I spoke to them, Deann, Merri-Jo, Tina, Sheridan, Angel… validated my thoughts that this is something I should be part of.

The Small Business Expo is THE stage that the graduates of the program are put on. They get to talk about their area of expertise and offer their services while also sharing what Powerteam does for its speakers.

It’s brilliant.

I’ve been a speaker at many, many events where part of the speaker lineup (including myself) is working closely with the event organizers to develop additional post workshop activities to partner on.

But this one, the Small Business Expo series… it’s the best I have ever seen.

It will get me on stage, to build my advocacy, to grow my business and take me all around the world.

For me it is that game changer I had been looking for, but did not expect to find it here.

Boom! I got my mojo back.

Now off to climb a new mountain.

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Building Businesses By Doing Things Many Don’t Do

Early in my career, I realized that I had a very in-demand skill, something that people really needed in the business. I knew how to use Microsoft Excel. The ability to make spreadsheets and turn them into reports and to do analysis, surprisingly, was something I had a natural talent for.

It’s actually quite amusing to think how my entire career trajectory benefited from my innate ability makes sense of large files of numbers in a speadsheet. I was able to start doing that on a regular basis, making reports and doing different types of business analysis work that added a lot of value to the bank. Making sure we targeted the marketing of our products to specific, much more likely to buy, geographic and demographic groups accelerated the adoption rate and drove up cross sell of additional products.

Before I knew it I had a 15 year career with Wells Fargo and in that time, I got to do all kinds of analytics from end to end. Bringing in new data, structuring it, putting it in databases, and figuring out how to extract insight and report to senior management was something I got really, really good at.

After years of great experiences, working on huge data science projects and working across various teams to roll out complex analytics solutions. So, after doing that for the bank, I went into business myself as an analytics expert. I’ve spent the last decade working with a wide range of companies helping them level up their use of data.

Now, I am working small business owner and entrepreneurs as Icoach them into how to look at their data the same way Wells Fargo looks at its data. I help them implement analytics systems and processes — solutions that will help them mimic what the big successful multinational companies are doing with their data —so then they can be more competitive. That opportunity to coach them and give them a chance to be successful is what’s driving me.

It all starts with a commitment to start doing things that most other businesses aren’t doing very well or even at all.

Sharing an excerpt from a recent issue of Success Profiles Magazine that I was featured in. Thanks to Brian K. Wright and Bill Walsh for the opportunity!

Francisco Bay Area and as of February 2019, Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminarson both sides of the Pacific. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in Data + Science Program and the Data + Women of Tampa Meet Up Group.

Seven Years in the Philippines

In January it will be seven years since I left Wells Fargo and moved to the Philippines to set up an analytics training company.

As year seven comes to a close, some reflection on how I got to where I am now would be beneficial to my strategic planning for the next seven plus years.

BPO Elite was my first venture and the idea was to train fresh graduates and young professionals to be analysts. It was a pretty successful first year in terms of developing a training approach to teaching the fundamentals of business analytics. Business wise we made a lot of missteps along the way that ended up dooming the business. But the training method was sound and I started to build up my credibility as an analytics experts in the Philippines.

Year One was all about validating that empowering people to be analysts was indeed something I could do successfully.

Year Two brought DMAIPH, Decision-Making, Analytics & Intelligence Philippines to life. Based on the business lessons learned from the shortcomings of BPO Elite I focused more on building an influencer network. Entering in to business deals where other people would market my trainings, freed me up to focus on meeting with influencers. The goal became to work within existing networks and expanding reach so that more and more people learned about the important of analytics with DMAI top of mind on how to train people to do it.

Year Two was the year I built the foundation that allowed me to become the top analytics training expert in the Philippines.

In 2014, I launched a separate business focused on the outsourcing of analytics and data heavy customer care solutions. For a large part of the year the analytics trainings took a back seat to setting up a team of 100 office and home-based staff for clients in the U.S. It wasn’t the reason why I moved to the Philippines, but the opportunity proved to be quite lucrative and allowed me to keep doing analytics trainings and speaking engagements without having to worry to much about that part of my business being profitable.

Year Three was all about doing what needed to be done to make a profit.

By 2015, the outsourcing business was running smoothly, and I was able to get back to doing a lot of partner trainings and public speaking engagements. I had the good fortune to now be one of the most sought-after public speakers on analytics in the region, speaking at schools, conferences, and tech event I was also able to start getting my message outside of Manila and being asked to do events across the country.

Year Four was the year where I my face (actually the credibility behind it) really started to sell.

2016 was a big year for DMAI. I published my first book, Putting Your Data to Work. My goal was to make a guidebook that Filipino professionals could use a both a companion to my trainings as well as a resource to convince decision-makers to invest in more training. I also upped my game with doing more public trainings and speaking at even bigger events. It was a very profitable and satisfying year.

Year Five was where I perfected training content and my public presentations. The book was really the lynchpin behind all that.

By 2017, I began calling what I do as more an advocacy than a business. I got involved in several large-scale analytics training initiatives not just in the Philippines, but across SE Asia. I helped found an association to further an analytics centric focus in the outsourcing industry and was even invited to give testimony before the Senate of the Philippines.

Year Six was where it all came together. I hit that sweet spot where I was really good at something I loved doing and I got well paid for it.

2018 could have easily been a redux of 2017. In fact, we started doing a lot of high paying in-house trainings, bigger and more successful public trainings and I was being invited to take part in all kinds of big picture initiatives across the region. But something changed. 2017 was the year where I had reached the mountain top. As I look back at 2018, I have accomplished everything I had set out to do back in 2012.

That said, I’m not done with the Philippines yet!

Already have 5 trainings booked for the first quarter of 2019. Including ones coming up in January and March. Here are the links to find out more:

https://www.sonicanalytics.com/data-analytics-20

https://www.sonicanalytics.com/data-analytics-30

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for my adopted home in the tropics as I also look to expand my trainings to where I spent much of my youth… the state of Florida. .

Will be laying some seeds the next several months and kick off my first trainings and speaking engagements in the Sunshine state early next year.

Let’s see where the next seven years of championing analytics takes me.

Dan Meyer Quotes 2

DMAIPH – Decision-making, Analytics & Intelligence Philppines

Over the past few years businesses in the Philippines have invested heavily in big data, analytics and data science, but still have not achieved the expected outcomes of data-driven companies.

Based on our learnings from the 100’s of Filipino businesses and 10,000s of Filipinos who have taken part in DMAIPH Analytics trainings all across the country, we have crafted a proven,  non-technical approach to upskilling your team in analytics.

In 2019, we will be launching two new training programs: (1) Our DMAIPH Applied Analytics Master Class series for executives, leaders and decision-makers and our (2) DMAIPH Applied Analytics Boot Camp series for practicing analysts.

We will feature case studies of real Filipino run business, exercises based on actual analytics challenges being solved by Filipino analysts, and provide you with a copy of my book, Putting Your Data to Work, an analytics guidebook for the Filipino professional

Connect with us via our marketing partner, http://www.sonicanalytics.com to learn about upcoming analytics trainings and events. 

 

Finding the Right Data at the Right Time

Sir Conan Doyle’s famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, couldn’t form any theories or draw any conclusions until he had sufficient data. Data is the basic building block of everything we do in analytics: the reports we build, the analysis we perform, the decisions we influence, and the optimizations we derive.

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Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

Several years ago I came across a book called the Accidental Analyst (*www.accidentalanalyst.com). The book opens with the questions, “Are you drowning in a sea of data? Would you like to take control of your data and analysis to quickly answer your business questions and make critical decisions? Do you want to confidentially present results and solutions to your managers, colleagues, clients and the public?”

Written by two Stanford professors, the book explores how and why people become good analysts and goes into detail about how to approach analytics successfully. After reading the book I was inspired to come up with a way to teach analytics to college students and fresh graduates.

The core of both the book and my program hinges on the ability of an analyst to find the right data at the right time. The authors suggested that identifying your data is where it all starts. Identifying exactly what you need to address whatever it is that you need to report.

Back at Wells Fargo, the single greatest attribute that I had that made me successful was my ability to size up how long it would take to deliver something. Knowing what data I would need, where I would find it and how long it would take to analyze it to come up with something useful made me somewhat of a wizard in the minds of the team.

Finding the right data at the right time requires one to first know ends and outs of their data. You have to know how the data is captured, where it is stored and how it makes its way to you. Knowing the data architecture in your business is the key.

So you have to get to know the people who know where your data comes from and how it gets there. Learn from them. Partner with them. Buy them doughnuts.

A couple of years ago I came across an analogy being used to describe data in a business. That of a data lake. A data lake is the living, breathing, evolving pool of all the data in a business. If you have a good data architecture, and you can navigate it fairly easily, then you have a data lake. Ideally, your business has data structured in such a way you can live off it. Data to a business is like water to living things… it sustains life

So once you have the lake mapped out, then you have to learn how to fish it. Knowing where the fish are biting is another key. Once you know what data you need, you have to know how to get to it quickly.

Business Intelligence tools help us here. As does coding languages to extract data from a database. These are your fishing tools. You have to practice using them to be good at getting the right data at the right time.

Another way to optimize your data search is to save your work. Of as I call it leave yourself breadcrumbs. Save the query. Cut and paste the code into a document and save it. Write down the steps. Whatever you need to do to replicate what you just did so you can do it again in the future without starting over from scratch.

So to recap, if you know data structure, you understand how data is stored and you leave yourself clues to do things faster next time.
Now the other part of the equation is knowing if the data you are using is the right data. Finding data quickly doesn’t do you any good if you bring back the wrong data.

So, how do you know if the data you are using is the right data to be using?
I can’t count the number of times I asked myself that question. In general, just about every new analysis or project or research or whatever it is you are using data for, you have to ask that question at some point.

Even data you have used a hundred times and comes from a highly trusted source needs to be scrutinized.

Now if you work with data every day in a familiar format, from the same source and with no changes to the data gathering and storage process you don’t have to spend much time validating it. Usually you will see problems when something just doesn’t look right when you are doing the analysis.

On the other hand, things get a whole lot trickier when you are using data from a source you don’t use often, or something has changed in the way the data is populated or if it’s the first time you are using the data.

When this happens, I have a few suggestions on how to validate the data.

  • First off, pull the data, do your analysis and draw some conclusions. If it passed the eye test and it feels ok to you, then your job is just to validate it.
  • One simple way to do this is pull the data again the exact same way to make sure you get the exact same data. Or change one parameter like the dates used in the query. See if that significantly alters the way the data looks and feels.
  • Another option is to have someone else do the same thing independently. See if they get the same results you do. You can also find someone who knows the data to look over your work to see if it makes sense to them.
  • Whatever you do, the best way to prevent publishing or using bad data is to involve someone else. Not always possible, I know, but it’s the best way to go.

Another suggestion is to (1) get the data, (2) do some analysis, and then (3) step away for a while. Come back to it with fresh eyes. Don’t let our minds play tricks on us by making us see what we want to see and not what is really there.

I have seen several articles showing research that most time doing data analysis is actually spent cleaning data. In a lot of businesses, the data lake has become a data swamp, clogged with bad or unusable data. As the % of unstructured data increases daily, it’s easy to see how data swamps have become the norm. Even the most robust data collection and mining can run afoul if the data is not trustworthy.

I can’t stress this enough. No matter how good you are at analysis, or what tool you are using to do the analysis, if you don’t have an understanding of what happens to the data before it gets to you then you are probably not drinking from a clean lake.

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DMAIPH – Decision-making, Analytics & Intelligence Philppines

Over the past few years businesses in the Philippines have invested heavily in big data, analytics and data science, but still have not achieved the expected outcomes of data-driven companies.

Based on our learnings from the 100’s of Filipino businesses and 10,000s of Filipinos who have taken part in DMAIPH Analytics trainings all across the country, we have crafted a proven,  non-technical approach to upskilling your team in analytics.

In 2019, we will be launching two new training programs: (1) Our DMAIPH Applied Analytics Master Class series for executives, leaders and decision-makers and our (2) DMAIPH Applied Analytics Boot Camp series for practicing analysts.

We will feature case studies of real Filipino run business, exercises based on actual analytics challenges being solved by Filipino analysts, and provide you with a copy of my book, Putting Your Data to Work, an analytics guidebook for the Filipino professional

Connect with us via our marketing partner, http://www.sonicanalytics.com to learn about upcoming analytics trainings and events. 

 

Staying Current with Analytics

Every few months I devote a day to discover what the current trends in analytics are. I do this both to refresh the slides in my presentation and to refresh my mind to see what I may have missed.

The amount of literature out there on analytics continues to blossom at an amazing rate, making it a true challenge to stay well versed on what’s hot and what’s not. I read a new analytics themed book at least once a month and I follow dozens of blogs, web sites and social media groups. Being well versed on what is current in analytics is a key to success.

Every time I go to list the top 5 analytics trends, I find that some things change and some stay the same. Ever since I have been writing about analytics, data visualization is near the top. Business dashboards continue to be a big need. Business Intelligence (BI) tools evolve and new ones’ pop up, but Tableau continues to be a market leader.

That said, we are still squarely in an MS Excel dominated world. Upwards of 80% of Filipino professionals I recently surveyed still use Excel as their primary tool for data analysis. And even the ones who have dedicated BI tools, still use Excel for 75% of their analytics work.  The adoption of BI tools is trending upward, but the curve is still very step.

Another trend that has been on the upswing is how more and more data is now unstructured data. The discussion on what is unstructured data and how best to mine it and integrate it with structured data has really been at the forefront for a while now. Going from 80% structured to 90% unstructured in just a few short years as mankind generates unprecedented amounts of data not easily captured in a database every day.

As October 2018, if I had to pick 5 current trends in analytics to talk about it would be:
(1) How to Conduct Impactful Data Storytelling,
(2) The Analytics and Data Science Talent Shortage,
(3) Using Big Data Analytics for Digital Transformation,
(4) Optimizing Data Warehousing and Data Lakes,
(5) Which Tool Is Best; Tableau or Power BI, R vs Python, etc

And thats is not even touching topics that are on the cutting edge like machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented analyst. Although those are super important to an overall understanding of how we can optimize data, these topics generally are several steps down the road from where my audience sits. They are still trying to master the fundamentals of business analytics and introductory data science.

So I spend a fair amount of time looking for YouTube videos or TED Talks  on these topics  to add to what i read.

The amount of information available to consume if immense. I guess as we have more and more data and more and more tools to analyze data, we will have more and more people writing about how to use data.

Its a fun time to be the Data Guy.

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DMAIPH – Decision-making, Analytics & Intelligence Philppines

Over the past few years businesses in the Philippines have invested heavily in big data, analytics and data science, but still have not achieved the expected outcomes of data-driven companies.

Based on our learnings from the 100’s of Filipino businesses and 10,000s of Filipinos who have taken part in DMAIPH Analytics trainings all across the country, we have crafted a proven,  non-technical approach to upskilling your team in analytics.

In 2019, we will be launching two new training programs: (1) Our DMAIPH Applied Analytics Master Class series for executives, leaders and decision-makers and our (2) DMAIPH Applied Analytics Boot Camp series for practicing analysts.

We will feature case studies of real Filipino run business, exercises based on actual analytics challenges being solved by Filipino analysts, and provide you with a copy of my book, Putting Your Data to Work, an analytics guidebook for the Filipino professional

Connect with us via our marketing partner, http://www.sonicanalytics.com to learn about upcoming analytics trainings and events.