It’s No Longer Just Enough To Know

In a recent conversation about using more analytics in the measurement and evaluation of public policies and programs, one of my colleagues said that in today’s world, “It’s no longer just enough to know.”

The point being if you aren’t using data and analysis to enhance your efforts and empower decision-makers with actionable insights, then you are not serving the public to the best of your ability.

A lot of government programs, non-profits and philanthropic organizations are what he called, “Information Rich, but Data Poor.”

Check out my upcoming webinar on Feb 15, 2017! https://dmaiph.com/2017/01/14/analytics-and-data-driven-decision-making-webinar-on-feb-15/

Just because you gather massive amounts of information in the form of data points, does not mean the data is adding value. In fact one of the biggest challenges the corporate world has been dealing with the past few years is how to optimize Big Data.

We live in a world where so much data is produced and captured, then analyzed and published in reports and article, yet the data and analysis alone is often not having the impact our policies and projects were intended to have.

In effect, we might know things, but we aren’t able to influence decisions because our data is not compelling enough.

To this end, I have advocated importing some analytics themed best practices from the corporate world to educate more on what to do with the data and how to put the data to use. To in short, be Information Rich, Data Rich to move towards more Data-Driven Decision-Making.

Starting backwards, I will first focus my training on the How. How do we make more data-driven decisions?

The I will focus on the Why. Why do we need to make more data-driven decisions?

From there we will go into several business analytics concepts like Data Visualizations, Public Data Mining, Data Lakes, Demographic Profiling using Big Data, and Data Blending.

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A final topic of interest that I will bring to the discussion is the Plus Minus Implications for Unstructured and Qualitative Data. Things that at first can be hard to assign a number too, but are just important as any piece of traditional data used in decision-making.

At the conclusion of my work, public policy and project reporting will be much more data rich, influence will improve and decision-making enhanced.

Now we won’t just know, we will be able to champion what we know in ways that will make a difference.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. 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 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.

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The 3 Pillars of Small Business Analytics

When I consult with small business owners, there are 3 areas where my guidance generally has the most impact. I call these areas the 3 Pillars of Small Business Analytics.

The first pillar is a Competitive Landscape. I have found that very few small business owners really have a handle on the competition.

A competitive landscape analysis will reveal threats and opportunities that generally are not obvious to a business owner who focuses most of his/her energy on running the business itself.

Some of the data points you can capture and analyze include pricing, location, business size, quality, scope of business, diversity of product offering and of course revenue.  You would be surprised to find how easy it is to gather all this info.

Knowing where your products and services stack up against your competition is a key to prosperity. To achieve this understanding you need to use analytics.

The second pillar is a Demographic Profile. I have also found that very few small business owners really understand the demographics around their business.

A demographic profile analysis will illustrate how closely your customer base mirrors the actual population around your business. In many cases small businesses are not positioning their services correctly based on the opportunity in their market.

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Data to include would be traditional demographic markers like age, race, sex, family status, financial status, economic state, etc. There is a ridiculous amount of data on the internet that can be mined free and easy.

Making sure your business is properly positioned to take advantage of your arket will ensure more long term success. The data is out there; you just need to know how to bring it into your analytics process.

The third pillar is Customer Insights. With the boom in social media, most small businesses have not figured out how to capture and analyze all the information being published and shared about their business.

Customer Insight analysis allows a business owner to stay on top of problems and identify how customers feel about their business quickly.

We all know how quickly things can go viral and having a good tool to capture customer sentiment in social media is generally the most overlooked aspect of running a small business.

Positive and negative reviews, trending items, number of likes, follows and shares, are all items that can be rolled into customer insights. You can combine this with surveys, focus groups and loyalty programs among other things to get a full picture of your business.

If you are a small business owner, decision-maker or analyst then focusing on these analytics pillars will make all the difference in the world.

And the best part, is they are all free and easy to bring into your business.

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 Analytics I See While Sitting @ Taco Bell

I know I a total analytics nerd.

While sitting a taco bell I started thinking of all the data and analysis that this places creates.

So I’ll imagine I’m the franchise owner. Obviously my biggest concern is making a profit.

Its 9am on a weekday morning. Not very busy. Come to think of it, I have been to this location several times and have never seen it very busy. I’m sure they have peak times, but I have never seen one.

So let me take a step back and think about things like an analyst advising the owner.

First off, what % of profit comes from what time and day of the week. Defining peak times is something most business owners deal with to make sure they are staffed correctly.

Being optimal with staffing is one way successful businesses prosper and unsuccessful ones fail. Idle employees quickly become bad employees and overworked employees also become bad employees. There are two customers inside, just the occasional drive through customer, yet there are 6 employees here. Way more than needs to be I think. Looking at the data would undoubtedly tell the whole story and allow better workforce planning decisions.

The 2nd thing that comes to mind is the competition. Taco Bell is rarely thought of as a morning option. There are literally a dozen Starbucks within 5 minute’s drive and as least as many other coffee places.

Then you have the fact this location is between a McDonalds, a Jack in a Box and a Nation’s. All places with a much higher top of mind appeal when it comes to a quick breakfast. The menu and pricing is most likely tied to corporate requirements, but to compete in this crowded marketplace you need to be good and you need to be cheap.

They have a pretty good $1 menu selection. That’s good because it means it’s cheaper than just about anywhere else around. TB also have a lot of unique offerings. So that is good. Finding ways to market those positives locally is probably a good place to look into the data.

Where, when and how can this location interact with potential customers to get TB higher up on the list of breakfast options. Lots of data there to be gathered and analyzed about both the completion and the demographics of current and potential customers.

The third thing that caught my attention is its calm here. Easy rock playing on the radio. No TVs. No kid’s playground. Not a lot of hustle and bustle.

I ended up writing 4 blog posts while sitting here. I also recall that on a recent visit someone was working on a laptop while here. Its not a bad place to get some work done. So looking at who comes in, how long they stay and what they do while they are here is worthwhile.

So, that is what analysts do. They observe, they collect, they analyze, they offer suggestions. Then they monitor, they measure, they report trends and uncover opportunities.

14232472_10154551345857425_8165709150773510742_nIf I was working for the owner here, the data would probably back up my observations and suggest something like this…

Send someone to the local retirement communities (there are several in the area) to offer some kind of special loyalty program to people who dine in on weekday mornings. Make sure the staff is engaged with that demographic. Offer things that the competition does not and make a big deal about it.

All of this can be based on data, measured and refined using data and in the end increase the profitability of this location.

This is what I do in my spare time. Imagine what I can do to help you use analytics to increase your profits and optimized your business.

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.

 

 

 

 

Analytics for the Small Business Owner

Do you know a small business owner who could use a little help in making their business more profitable and efficient?

I am looking for a half dozen small businesses that I can help then better understand their business data.  In exchange for my help I would like to use them as a case study in a new book I am working on.

The new book will be an Analytics Guidebook for Small Business Owners. I have found that while analytics has great success in boosting efficiency and increasing profit in large and medium sized businesses across the U.S., the same has not happened for most small business owners.

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So, I am hoping you can refer me to a small business owner you know that might be interested in some help. The kind of help I offer would be to do a simple business intelligence package for them consisting of building a competitor landscape, compiling a demographic profile and collecting customer insights. There are things I specialized in while with Wells Fargo.

In exchange for this package, I would just ask for some access to their data. How they manage expenses, payroll, inventory, and other data rich business processes. I would sign a non-disclosure agreement and not ask for access to any private information, just some raw data to work with.

I am happy to elaborate more, if you know someone who is interested. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Daniel Meyer, Analytics Champion

www.dmaiph.com

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.

 

How DMAIPH Uses Analytics > Doctor’s in Houston

I love public data mining projects like this…

Here is what we need:
A list of primary care, internal medicine, general medicine, and geriatric physicians in the Houston area who have written prescriptions for the atypical antipsychotic class of medications.

Specifically:

  • These physician specialties (primary care, internal medicine, general medicine, and geriatric physicians)
  • In these cities in the Houston MSA (Houston, Texas City, Pearland, Friendswood, Clear Lake, Missouri City, Sugarland, Katy, Cypress, Spring, The Woodlands, Tomball, Conroe, Cleveland, Kingwood, Porter, Humble, Baytown, Pasadena, Beaumont)
  • Can we get this mapped into an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns of data:
    • Separate columns for last name, first name
    • Specialty
    • Address
    • Overall volume of Medicare claims for all of the antipsychotic medications (quetiapine fumarate, Seroquel, Seroquel XR, risperidone, Risperdal, Abilify, olanzapin, and Zyprexa).

If you find research projects like this interesting, then DMAIPH is the place for you! 🙂

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Analytics Outsourcing – DMAIPH has successful set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have it down to a science. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about how to set up an analytics-centric team in the Philippines.

Start With A Simple Market Assessment

Assessing growth potential in existing or new markets requires some common sense, critical thinking, the right data and solid analysis.

To get started you need to consider if you are asking the right questions when assessing market growth opportunities?

This simple assessment will help a company determine whether to invest time and resources in a new initiative:

• What is the current size of the market?
• What is the potential size of the market?
• How much of the market share do you have now and how much do you want?
• How well does our product fit into the current market?
• Can we create a new market for our product?
• If we are in the market already, what has made us successful and/or what has made us unsuccessful?
• What are the different segments of the market?
• Do we want to compete in all of them or only some of them?
• Who are the competitors in the market and why do customers buy from them?
• What do we need to do to get customers to buy from us?

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Understanding the demographics of your customers and the marketplace, having a clear picture of the competitive landscape around you and having insight into current and potential customers are all things you need before you expand.

DMAI Analysts are available to help you gain a strategic perspective on your market. Let us know what we can do to help.

Introduce Analytics Into Your Networking Marketing Strategy

When it comes to sales, one of the most important lessons I learned while with Wells Fargo is that you should only sell something to someone if they both want it and need it. There was this one story that sticks out in my mind, its form a sales trainer whose class I attended 20 years ago.

He said, “You can only sell a red car to a person who wants to buy a red car.” The point being that you can’t see blue cars to people who want red cars, because if you do they will end up not being happy with what they bought and therefore not happy with you. In fact in order to sell a product, you need to only offer it to the people who want and need it. Trying to sell the wrong product to the wrong person is a huge time waster and network killer.

Having this mindset, I’ve continually been baffled by the sales tactics I see with so many network marketers I know. I mean I hate coffee, never had a taste for it. But having that key piece of insight hasn’t stopped almost a dozen of my friends from trying to get me to be part of their coffee sales MLM.

If you sell coffee, then the first thing you do is go down your list of friends and eliminate anyone who doesn’t drink coffee. Now I know, there is always a chance they might be a source of new leads, but honestly trying to get someone to sell something they don’t use themselves if really just another waste of time.

SO if you take an analytical approach, you would eliminate the long shots. Not just non-coffee drinkers, but also one who cant afford to buy the coffee. It doesn’t do much good to hard sell someone who cant afford your product.

You would be better off seeking out new network connections by joining groups and forums where your target market is. If you are trying to sell red cars, look where red car owners end up online. Where do the go to talk about their red cars and share photos of their red cars. Or maybe you sell vitamin supplements… then you should be marketing to health care professional, people who exercise regularly or are health conscious. Selling vitamins to someone who doesn’t care about their health is another uphill battle.

So the key starting point for using more analytics in your sales strategy starts with building a demographic profile to define your target market and exclude people who will more likely than not be a waste of your precious time.

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An Inside Look At Analytics In Action > U.S. Census Data

US CensusIf you are working with American clients or customers, one of the most useful tools any analyst can master is the U.S. Census Data. http://www.census.gov

It is #1 source for current population data and the latest Economic Indicators and is culled from the nationwide census conducted in the US every ten years. The last collection was in 2010. However, the US Census Bureau also collects data from smaller sample sizes every year.

When I was with Wells Fargo, I used census data extensively to help us understand the demographics of targeted markets. I have also used data from the site for building competitive profiles for BPO Elite and DMAI clients.

When you go to the site (www.census.gov), it can be a little overwhelming due to the massive amount of data collected and made available. There are some videos, webinars, in class trainings and lots of learning tools available to master how to make the best use of the data.

For now though, lets focus on one particular demographic data point that I will explain how to find and use. I have a client who wants to know % of households in certain Zip Codes around the Dallas, Texas are that have at least one person over 65-year-old in that household.

Step One is knowing where to go. In this case, we will choose the data menu and then American Fact Finder. As you can see if you view the site… the choices can be quite intimidating to those not used to this site. Type in Dallas County, Texas and you will get access to all kinds of demographic data. In this case we will look at the 2010 US Census. You can see that 8.8% of the population is 65 and over.

For the sake of this blog I wont bore you with details, but then we take that data and we look at it at the zip code level. And then we can see what parts of Dallas County are “older” than others. This will help out client target his marketing efforts since his product is geared towards customers 65+

So if you have a business where you need demographic data for the US, this is the place to go. DMAI is happy to help you find ways to unlock this incredible source of data and empower your business with more analytics intelligence!

The Philippines is Going Beast Mode! 2 of 3

ASEAN Demographics

Sharing my thoughts on some great Bloomberg visuals my good friend Justin Calderon used in a recent story he put together.

http://investvine.com/charts-outlining-the-philippines-economic-trajectory/

Beast Mode is an American Football term for a player who singlehandedly dominates a game. This is the second of three visuals I will breakdown and comment on.

This slide tells me so much. Based on this I am convinced that its time to revamp my plans for training fresh grads in analytics. Look at how much younger the Philippines is then its neighbors! Combine this remarkable demographic datapoint with other factors like the investment being made in the BPO/Call Center industry, the education system geared to produce American style English, and the size of the talent pool.

When you do that you see what I see, an amazing opportunity to be in the middle of all the training, skill building and mentoring that will be needed to prepare this population boom for the jobs of the next 10-20 years.

In the previous post, it was noted how quickly the Philippines economy is accelerating and here you see a snapshot of the future. There are still so many potential detractors and possible hindrances ahead, so you have to pay them mind. However, its data points like that, backed up by analysis and on the ground intelligence that have me convinced its time to go back and jump in!

Analytics Tool for Sales #1 – Demographic Profiles

philippines-outsourcing-teamOne thing that amazes me is the lack of knowledge most sales people have about their current, former and potential customers. Who are they? Where do they come from? What do they look like? What are there habits? What appeals to them? These kinds of questions are often answered by personal observation. Most business owners and leaders don’t take the time to understand the demographic data of their market and miss key opportunities all the time.

According to Wikipedia, A demographic or demographic profile is a term used in marketing and broadcasting, to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment. This typically involves age bands (as teenagers do not wish to purchase denture fixant), social class bands (as the rich may want different products than middle and lower classes and may be willing to pay more) and gender (partially because different physical attributes require different hygiene and clothing products, and partially because of the male/female mindsets).

In short, every business owner and leader should have demographic data at their fingertips so they can analyze which customers are the most profitable and what they look like. Then its a matter of developing marketing schemes to attract more of them using the underlying data. Know your market and the markets around you.

There are numerous sources of free, publically available data available online. The US Census Bureau has one of the most detail collections of demographic data ever collected. As do other US Government Entities like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Central Intelligence Agency. There are also numerous organizations that supply global data like the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Many countries also publish valuable data on their websites like Central Banks and Government Statistics Offices. The Philippines in particular has some pretty solid data available to use for demographic profiling.

DMAI specializes is building demographics profiles based on your customer data and the public data about the markets your operate in. Stop guessing and minimize lost opportunities by working with DMAI to get your the demographic data you need to make more data-driven decisions.