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.

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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.

Has the Philippines BPO Industry Lost It’s Edge?

Just read Tholons latest paper on Digital Disruption: http://www.tholons.com/pdf/TSGI%20Report%202017.pdf

As if things aren’t gonna be hard enough, the BPO industry here in the Philippines is not evolving fast enough. The tidal wave of digital disruption is not something we are adequately prepared for.

Although we are #3 overall when it comes to countries in a position to continue to benefit from globalization, being one of the top countries is by no means assured.

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For the past decade its mainly been a battle between India and the Philippines, but China has crashed the party and a lot of Latin American countries are in hot pursuit.

If you are one who thinks the BPO industry here is gonna continue to see 20% year over year growth, then this slide should give you pause.

Why? Because although blessed with some amazing advantages for customer service, we aren’t currently optimizing our focus on digital transformation.

When you look at the next image, you see both Manila and Cebu have lost ground in the battle of global cities in the past year as well.

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Manila was #2, now its #4. Now is not the time to be complacent. We need to invest heavily in upskilling our BPO workforce to offer higher value chain services. We need to champion for strong DSA programs in the schools. And we need to make sure decision-makers are armed with the data they need to keep the Philippines on the cutting edge of globalization.

Thats why we have the AAP.PH and why we have launched Augment BPO.

17426122_1095825400562902_5936762267508985241_nAnalytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP.PH) and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership. #AAP.PHMoonshot

The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training. #AugmentBPO

Working on an Analytics Internship/OJT program…

400 Hour DMAIPH Data Science & Analytics OJT/Internship Program

The end goal is to develop a DSA strategy presentation for manager. Start out by getting to know the physical data environment, the tools being used and the main players in the business. Move on to assessing the maturity of the analytics culture and it’s use of DSA talent, techniques and technology. Design a business dashboard prototype and deliver a compelling data story to improve management reporting.

Three tracts for interns… HR Analyst, Business Analyst and Data Analyst.

Interns will spend 60% of the internship at the place of business and 40% of the internship in a classroom. This will facilitate the application of theory to real business data in order to help managers get a better idea of the what’s working and what’s nor when it comes to the data in their business.

Based on the APEC DSA Competencies which is close to being adopted by 20+ countries across Asia and the Pacific as a guide for current and future DSA training efforts.

 Week 1 – Fundamentals of DSA

  • APEC DSA Competencies
  • Company Background
  • How This Internship Works

Exercise: LinkedIn Profile

Company Deliverable: Company/Organization DSA Profiles

Week 2 – DSA in the Philippines

  • Putting Data into Context
  • Emerging Trends
  • Cultures of Innovation

Exercise: Glossary of Data

Company Deliverable: Defining Where the Cutting Edge Is

Week 3 – Data Management & Governance

  • Data Management Macro View
  • Data Governance
  • Information Security

Exercise: Data Survey

Company Deliverable: Info Security Risk Assessment

Week 4 – Data Analytics Methods & Algorithms

  • Data Management Micro View
  • The Right Data
  • Machine Learning

Exercise: Who’s Who of Data in the Business

Company Deliverable: Data MVPs

Week 5 – Data Science Engineering Principles

  • Data Map
  • Identify Right App
  • Feedback Loop

Exercise: A Visio Data Map

Company Deliverable: Map of Business Data Lake

Week 6 – Computing and Computational Thinking

  • MS Excel
  • Query Data
  • Programming Languages

Exercise: Top 10 Excel Tips Video

Company Deliverable: Top Ten Data Tips

Week 7 – Statistical Techniques

  • Getting IT
  • Analytics Maturity Model
  • Predictive Analytics Model

Exercise: Flight Risk Model

Company Deliverable: Results of Maturity Assessment

Week 8 – Operational Analytics

  • Management Reporting
  • Public Big Data
  • Business Dashboards

Exercise: Tableau Public Mock Up

Company Deliverable: Business Dashboard Prototype

Week 9: Data Visualization & Presentation

  • Data Visualization
  • Enchantment
  • Data Storytelling
  • Exercise: D.R.A.P.S
  • Company Deliverable: A Business Data Story

Week 10 – Final Project/DSA Strategy Presentation

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My goal is to create and promote a hybrid approach that offers both supplemental education and hands on experience. We need to get past the days of having OJT do data encoding or simple research projects… they need skills that they can apply day one.

They need it, we need it, the country needs it.

Any ideas or suggestions? This is just the first draft.

Hoping to roll this out in the next month or so.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Project DARE initative, DMAIPH champions the use of using data. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in data science and analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

APEC Data Science & Analytics Key Competency #3: Data Management and Governance

According to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Advisory Group, Data Management and Governance is one of the key competencies of a Data Science & Analytics professional working in the region.

By definition, a DSA professional can develop and implement data management strategies and governance, while incorporating privacy, data security, polices and regulations, and ethical considerations.

The concepts of data management and data governance are kind of the like the chicken… you really can’t have one without the other. Although to the layman, data management includes data governance.

The simplest way to put it, is that data management is the physical aspects of data collecting, capturing, storing, segmenting, etc. Data governance is then the rules or guiding principles that direct how data management works.

There are a lot of data management resources out there. There are not a lot of data governance resources out there. This is why in a majority of companies, we have raw data that needs a lot of cleaning and refining before it can be used in a business.

Organizations that are good in data governance, generally have solid data management. Mature analytics companies have data that is easy to access, is accurate and is used in decision-making.

Data Governance is composed on three parts: People, Process and Technology.

DMAI_DataGovernanceThe people have titles like database admins, data stewards and data warehouse experts. They enforce the laws and rules around data within an organization.

The technology used is generally programming languages, coding and joining data structures to layout the blueprint of how data flows throughout the organization’s hardware.

The process is the rules, generally set down by senior management, and often in line with government or industry regulations that govern how data should be used.

If your organization has a lot of data, has people that are well versed in data management, and uses data to feed decision-making, then you need to make sure you have solid data governance.

If you don’t, DMAIPH can help. Likely you are missing key people, clear processes, and/or the right technology to ensure your data is being governed correctly.

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Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience.

If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

Radio DWDD today @ 11am – The Analytics of Blogging

Blogging has been around for quite some time now, but many who venture into blogging do not realize who is reading their blogs, what are they reading, why are they visiting and reading their blogs, and so on.

So, today I have the honor of being a special guest on DWDD to help listeners go through the realms of the analytics of blogging.

The topics I plan on covering include:
– What is analytics?
– What title/position/employee is involved in anlytics?
– What university/college course do you take to learn analytics?
– What kind of companies uses analytics?

And Blogger-specific topics will include:
– Should bloggers learn to use analytics?
– Why use analytics in blogging?
– How does a blogger begin to use analytics?
– Can analytics make the blogger earn money?

Come join me and my good friends Raffy, Ron and Ian to discuss how to get more data into your blogging efforts. Its easy and for the most part its free.
#TODAY 20th March at 11:00AM, the BLOGGERS’ HOUR talks about Blogging and Analytics, and why bloggers need to start measuring their blogs beyond just views and hits. To help us understand how to do this is Analytics Expert Dan Meyer from San Francisco who has set up shop in the Philippines with his advocacy of teaching Filipinos the art of analytics.

Tweet or post your questions in advance using the Hashtag #BLOGGERSHOUR.

LIKE http://www.facebook.com/bloggershour to be notified when the Facebook LIVE stream begins.

Tune in to DWDD 1134 kHz AM or live streaming via http://www.dwdd.com.ph or http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dwdd-katropa-live.

TWITTER:

Listen to the #BLOGGERSHOUR talk radio show, Monday 20th March 11:00AM as we talk about blogging & analytics with Dan Meyer @BPOElite1

 

 

Stone Age Analytics

I was chatting with a friend about Peter Drucker’s famous quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

He made a point that made me think this lesson is still hard to actually put into practice even though it’s a 50+ year old concept. In fact the idea that a good culture is more important than a good strategy is as probably as old as man.

My reply was the best run caves where probably run by the caveman with the most efficient hunters and gathers, who felt a common purpose that their leader empowered in them.

In many senses, analytics has been around since day one. Even before we had basic math, just by observation cave men that survived told stories to explain where the best hunting grounds where and things like saber toothed tigers are bad for your health.

Centuries before Lean and Six Sigma, human engaged in process improvement. And Im sure the smartest cave man (or woman) in the cave ended up being the data guy who did some kind of simple analytics to advice the chief on who was the best hunter and who was the best candidate to use as bait to stampede a mammoth into a box canyon.

My point is, analytics is not anything new. In fact most businesses don’t have good analytics because they think its too complicated and too expensive. Now maybe employing a data scientist to build a state of the art predictive modeling tool, is a bit to Space Age for some, but everyone needs to have at least Stone Age Analytics.

That’s where DMAIPH comes in. We specialize in helping companies who feel like their analytics are stuck in the Stone Age evolve.

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Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

Actionable Management Reporting

Except from my upcoming book on analytics for the small business owner…

One question I get asked a lot is what should someone do when they know the data they are reporting and/or using in their analysis is not the best data available?

  • Typically, Excel and PowerPoint are the primary tools used to provide management reporting to a company’s leadership. In the past few years there have been major technology innovations in business intelligence applications and data visualization software that have taken management reporting to a whole new level.
  • Recruiting has seen a huge increase in number and types of reporting tools available to deliver very fast and very detailed recruitment analytics.
  • This leads up to the concept of a business dashboard… which we will get to later.

No matter what part of the business you work in, the first thing to do is to define the current Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) being used in decision-making.  Often right off the bat, some of the KPIs being reported aren’t even being used.

You can do a simple survey, asking end users to rank in order of importance the KPIs they get. Also ask if the ones at the bottom are even useful or should they be eliminated if no one is using them.

At the same time you should be working on understanding what computations go into each KPI. Often we just do simple counts, total and averages that mask more important data. On the flip side, we tend to over complicate things with extravagant weighing and scoring. Either way, we need to make sure we know exactly what is being reported and how does the final data point come to its end state.

The next step is to look at the data architecture to make sure there is nothing happening upstream that might impact the data we are using in the KPIs. Before making changes to the KPIs we want to have the full view of what happens before the data gets to the end user.

Now we are at the point where we can start experimenting. What happens when we swap out data points? Or if we change a variable in a calculation? Or we pull the data from a different source? The questions are endless. Pick a few, make some changes in a test environment and start sharing the updated KPI data. See if it has more value with the end users.

Again, this shouldn’t be hard. But of course in many organizations a lot of consequences can result from a simple change to just one KPI. Spreadsheets may have to be reformatted, review processes may have to be updated, and dashboards may have to be redesigned. But in the end, what is more important? Making decisions with crappy data or setting a standard to let the reporting process evolve as the business evolves?

This come back to my point earlier, changing KPIs is as much sales as it is analysis… that you have to be ready to share a story, back it up with data, and really influence the minds of senior management that updating the KPIs makes good business sense.

If you are at a point where you are trying to figure out what KPIs aren’t working anymore or you need help in building a business case to change some KPIs, let me know. I’m here to help.

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Business Strategy with Analytics – Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you align your business strategy with analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business, Big Data

“Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.” Geoffrey Moore – Author of Crossing the Chasm & Inside the Tornado.

Without analytics, your company is vulnerable. However, just owning analytics tools isn’t enough. Extracting value from your analytics investment requires sufficient staff, well-defined processes, a clear business strategy, and leadership support.

All the Data We Create Each Day

Think about some of the things you do in your daily life. You get up, you eat, go to work/school, shop, do something for entertainment, bank, go online and do things on social media. Everything you do generates data. That data is captured in countless ways. And then it’s stored in countless places. And analyzed by countless numbers of people. And then used in countless ways by businesses to market, design, advertise, build, sell, and so on.

Every time you check your phone to see if there are any updates on Facebook you generate a lot of data for your phone manufacturer, your service provider and Facebook itself. Everything you like or comment on can be turned into a data point. The time, place and length of your connection all provide useful data. Get the point? It’s endless.

That’s big data.

In general, big data is thought of as all the data businesses capture and store in a database that they can use for business decision-making.

When you think of data collections that have millions and millions of rows of data like big bank transaction data, or traffic data for major cities, or all the statistics captured everyday across professional sports. Way too much for man to analyze without help from technology. That’s all big data.

Every business defines its big data a little differently. There is no one way to look at how best to manage big data because big data is such a living, evolving, never ending flow of information. It’s like lakes of water that are too big to swim across and too deep to dive to the bottom of without help. And no two lakes are alike.

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Small Business Analytics – The field of small business analytics is just starting to blossom as companies are looking for more data-driven decision-making to prosper in the age of Big Data. DMAIPH is at the fore front of providing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing options to small businesses. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on how to get more analytics in your small business.

 

 

The Four P’s (Principles) of Marketing

I was recently asked how I apply the Four Principles of Marketing to my business.

The 4 P’s being Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

When I was with Wells Fargo, I spent a significant portion of my time working with marketing teams to help analyze market opportunity, assess market penetration, and to measure marketing campaign success.

I learned quite a bit about how to attach metrics to each of the 4 P’s to determine our strategy.

When it comes to product, the most common metric is sales. How many products have been sold and how much revenue that translate too is a cornerstone of any business plan.

It can be just important though to blend in analysis that is not reflected by internal data alone. Knowing how your product stacks up to the competition and what your customers are saying about your product are much more challenging data points to capture.

As for place, the general data point most business decision-makers start with is how much sales activity comes out of a location or geographic area.

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Place can also be reflected in marketing channel; in-store, direct, online, etc. Decision-makers tie this concept to market place and always look within that place to determine marketing plans.

I also like to add demographic data to place to help understand overall opportunity and trends in how the market place is evolving.

Price is much more than just what it costs to produce and sell a product. Marketing expense must also be counted in the amount ultimately charged for a product. Price usually contain several components that can be analyzed to make sure price covers expense and allows for profit.

Again, I look to competitor data to help assess if the price we are charging is optimal. As a rule, you don’t want to be too expensive or too cheap when your customers have a choice.

Finally, when looking at promotion, its more than just where you sell your product and what marketing materials your use. Using the right delivery channel and leveraging your company brand also factor into the equation and should have metrics attached to them.

So, as you can see, marketing is more than just counting products sold, finding a place to sell the product, setting a price and beginning a promotion. For a good marketing analytics strategy, that is just the beginning.

An effective marketing analytics approach should have at least 10-20 data points to more accurately capture the things you need to know like how big is your market, how competitive is your product, how deeply have you penetrated your market, and what delivery options are the most effective ways to promote your product.

The 4 P’s of Marketing can easily be built into a marketing analytics dashboard where you see your key performance indicators and make swift, decisive business decisions.

Since setting up my business about 5 years ago, I have helped dozens of businesses get a better handle on their 4 P’s using marketing analytics.

Let me show you how we can do the same for your business.

Business Strategy with Analytics – Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you align your business strategy with analytics.