Organizations have massive amounts of data at their disposal, yet they often fail to utilize it in any meaningful way. But analytics is enabling many firms to aggressively use their data in key business processes with impressive results. You have more information at hand about your business than ever before, but if you aren’t using it to outthink your rivals you are missing out on a unique competitive tool.
The “Competing on Analytics” panel at The Premier Business Leadership Series discussed how to effectively deploy analytics in daily operations, put the right assets in place, understand what analytical leaders do, and manage and coordinate data, people and technology at an enterprise level. Panelists included David Eisendrath from Harrah’s Entertainment, Joe Megibow from Expedia, Gary King from Chico’s and Tom Davenport, author and co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics. Carl Farrell from SAS was the panel host.
As an online business, Expedia has no shortage of data and, as Joe Megibow of Expedia explained, it is a great resource for optimizing their business. For example, they can optimize the sort order of results to a customer’s search for hotels using “to the minute” analysis, and that has resulted in more sales. They can also analyze the way customers interact with their Web site, and in one case uncovered and resolved a simple design glitch that resulted in millions of dollars incremental revenue.
Fashion retailer Chico’s use business analytics to maintain a 360-degree view of their customer across their portfolio of brands. In what Gary King of Chico’s calls “crossover analysis” they can serve their customers’ needs better by helping them make purchasing decisions for all their ranges, not just those within a single brand. Perhaps just as importantly, Chico’s can use this same information to align and optimize their business.
Optimal allocation of resources and attention was also picked up by David Eisendrath of Harrah’s Entertainment; for the casino it’s about providing a great customer experience that is both effective and efficient in driving revenue. In essence, Harrah’s has developed a sophisticated capability to treat different customers differently – vital when managing as many properties and offers as Harrah’s.