Are you Failing Your Business by Ignoring Analytics?


One of the many reasons why businesses fail is due to the lack of attention to analytics. Sure, you can go on running your business, but mastering the science of analytics will translate into a business advantage.

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BY NANILEI LAMCHIN | OSU Professional and Continuing Education

One of the many reasons why businesses fail is due to the lack of attention to analytics. Sure, you can go on running your business, but mastering the science of analytics will translate into a business advantage.

But what exactly are analytics and why are they so important?

The Role of Business Analytics

Business analytics is the science of interpreting data in order to make sound decisions. For instance, marketing agencies track social media behavior in order to understand how users respond to advertising mediums.

A recent survey shows that top performing organizations use analytics five times more than lower performers. In other words, analytics is a top priority in successful organizations.

See, in today’s business world, data is rapidly changing. It is imperative for experts to keep up. But, without context, is the data worth anything?

Identify the Best Data for Your Business

The biggest challenge for business is finding valuable, actionable data, or rather, key performance indicators (KPIs).

Key performance indicators are specific predefined measurements, which allow businesses to analyze success. KPIs differ for each organization. A few examples include:

  • Loyalty metric
  • Profit rates
  • Social media reach
  • Unique website visits
  • Amount spent on marketing
  • Unique customers
  • Return on investment

Not all KPIs are created equally, so don’t waste your time by going out and measuring everything your business does. Constructive KPIs will expose the health of your business.

I want you to think for a moment. Can you identify one goal that, if you achieve it, will inevitably boost the success of your business’ ultimate goal (profit)?

Perhaps you need to increase your customer services score, boost the efficiency of your delivery service or engage more people through your online marketing channels. Identify which goals are most crucial to the success of your business. Then target specific data that will tell you whether you’re meeting this challenge.

Create an Analytics Plan

You’ve narrowed down your business goals and developed a solid list of KPIs to inform you of your progress. What’s next?

You now need to create an analytics measurement plan.

A measurement plan consist of the following:

1. Identify your business objectives
When defining your business objectives, ask yourself –why does your business exist?

2. Identify the strategies to support the objectives & KPIs
If the objective of your company is revenue than some key strategies to drive revenue could be to increase sales and reduce returns.

3. Decide how you’ll need to segment your data
At this stage, the measurement plan should translate business objectives into measureable performance metrics. Which performance indicators are dependent on one another? Can you separate your target audience and behaviors into specific categories? These are a couple questions you’ll need to answer.

4. Define the format and frequency for reporting
When you have created a plan, you want to regularly aggregate all the key numbers. Report monthly or quarterly to make sure the most important people on your team see and understand the KPIs.

The final step of your business analytics plan is to maintain and refine your strategy.

Your business will change over time. Your KPIs might need tweaking to ensure that the data you collect remains actionable. Sticking to a reporting schedule will guarantee these adjustments can be made advantageously.

Become an Expert

Stop ignoring your analytics. Gain (and sustain) a competitive advantage in your industry!

You can learn more about business analytics with our two-day onsite Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage workshop in Portland, Oregon.

You will have the opportunity to learn from four experts in our face-to-face instructor led workshop. The workshop is instructed by:

  1. Dr. Bryon Marshall, Associate Professor of information management & accounting at Oregon State University in the College of Business.
  2. Dr. V.T. Raja, Senior Instructor of Business Information Systems at the College of Business at Oregon State University
  3. Dr. Evan Smouse, Instructor at the College of Business in Oregon State University
  4. Dr. Bin Zhu, Associate Professor of Business Information Systems in the College of Business

You will learn:

  • Overview of analytics and analytics projects
  • Finding the synergy between business strategy and analytics
  • Managing and manipulating data
  • Date governance in organizations
  • Exploring data for patterns, trends and differences
  • Visualization and communication of patterns, trends, and differences
  • Successful implementation of a business analytics project
  • Cultural, operational, strategic and political implications

Walk away from the course with knowledge on how to move your organizations analytics capacity to the next level! Join us August 22-23!