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Hotelier Checks In With Analytics

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a seven-brand global hotelier, has woven analytics into the fabric of its operations. David Schmitt, director of performance strategy and planning, shares IHG's analytics story and his lessons learned.
12/14/2011 |  11
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MDMconsult
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Prospector
Re: Thanks
MDMconsult   3/19/2012 8:07:59 AM
NO RATINGS
@David Love your video presentation on analytics "inside-out" strategy. One strategy we use to help expand our client's reach is by personalizing marketing campaigns. Meaning the strategy is adaptable whether its focused on many service or product offerings to just one. Each segment is personalized. Quite simply we leverage data by learning from our insights gained, therefore we are able to focus on refining marketing to be able to strengthen strategies.

BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: Thanks
BethSchultz   1/9/2012 9:32:17 AM
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David, thanks for this note. With the general and business press, AllAnalytics.com included, pointing the spotlight on analytics, it's easy to get caught up in the hype and get carried away with the notion that everybody is doing analytics, and doing it well. We all really must always keep in mind that this is, in fact, early days and companies large and small are struggling to get their strategies in place and achieve widespread understanding. Thanks for doing your part!

 

dschmitt
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Prospector
Thanks
dschmitt   1/4/2012 11:07:27 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the kind comments! It was a lot of fun to put together.

A lot of the thinking that led to this came from a realization I had that while many companies are getting good (and well-deserved) press for being at the forefront of analytics, most analysts I've spoken with over the past year would talk about the struggles they are having. 

The fact is, analytics is still relatively new, and the number of companies that really get it (i.e. senior executive sponsorship and a company-wide culture of data-driven decision making) are small relative to the number of companies that don't. And unless you're a CEO, it's really hard for an analyst to effect the kind of change necessary to bring world-class analytics to an entire enterprise. 

So I wanted to present some ideas for how to successfully deploy an "inside-out" strategy that helps gain some momentum for an analyst to expand their reach and really show value. 

In any case, I'm glad it was helpful and I hope that we can continue to explore the topic. I'd love to hear what others have done to help evangelize and expand their reach.

SethBreedlove
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: No silver bullet
SethBreedlove   1/3/2012 8:26:51 PM
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Thank you David.  You made some great points.

1:) Create demand bottom-up.  I find this is so true.  Start with small things.  Managment has so much on there plate that a big project is really hard to justify. But incremental improvements get them on the hook.  

2.) Pefection is evil - Don't wait for the next and best tools.  - I think this fits so many areas of life.  Sometimes the worst decision is no decision.  It's better to try something and learn from it than it is to freeze due to the fear of making a mistake.

3.) Tell a story.  - No one cares about sum square.  This is something that history teachers can learn from.  I remember teachers that would just spew forth facts and dates and it was so incredibly boring. Finally I had a teacher that told the story behind the facts, and history changed from a dry subject to an entertaining soap opera. 

Maryam@Impact
User Rank
Blogger
Analytics tips
Maryam@Impact   12/17/2011 12:54:52 AM
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This is really an excellent addition to the site I especially liked the analytics tips, they are great to keep any analyst on track and focused especially the points around perfectionism. Waiting for perfections can cost critical time to market.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No silver bullet
BethSchultz   12/15/2011 4:17:41 PM
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Marshall (whoops, webmetrics guru), also wanted to point out to your point, "the message I get out of this video, is that you can not wait for the perfect tool or data source, in order to gain insights, but should use the data you have" is a consistent theme of David Schmitt's. He elaborates in this blog post.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No silver bullet
BethSchultz   12/15/2011 4:09:57 PM
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Marshall, you ask, "do when we're ready to pick up the next dataset, and the platforms to work with them, do we really know what best suits our needs?    Couldn't some smooth, swave, puffed up PR / Marcom / PR - Analytics folks sell in the next round of almost useless platforms and services just like they did, and have been doing for the last 5-6 years?" and I say, yes, that's always a danger. But consider this, as more and more companies push beyond BI and into enterprise analytics programs, they're embracing multifaceted enterprise analytics platforms and putting in place processes that will make selling "false goods" more difficult. Chances are companies will stick with their enterprise analtyics platforms of choice, adding in modules or additional capabilities from teh same provider as needed. 

Shawn Hessinger
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No silver bullet
Shawn Hessinger   12/15/2011 1:56:07 PM
Hi Marshall and thanks for the vote of confidence. We agree! This will be the first of what we hope will be many more videos on the topic of analytics (some, I believe, are already in the pipeline.) We hope people will not only enjoy and be inspired by this one but also share it with their network using the handy HTML code provided. Enjoy!

webmetricsguru
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No silver bullet
webmetricsguru   12/15/2011 11:41:32 AM
Really like the video a lot - if this is the "new standard' for videos at AllAnalytics.com, i'll need to to have mine professionally producted.

My sense is, as an Analyst, there was a lot of information here one could reverse enginner.  Analytics is not easy (and that has been a debate for a while in the Web Analytics circles), and I think the message I get out of this video, is that you can not wait for the perfect tool or data source, in order to gain insights, but should use the data you have (or be with the one your with, ha!).

But i want to pose an additional question - do when we're ready to pick up the next dataset, and the platforms to work with them, do we really know what best suits our needs?    Couldn't some smooth, swave, puffed up PR / Marcom / PR - Analytics folks sell in the next round of almost useless platforms and services just like they did, and have been doing for the last 5-6 years?

That's one of the main reasons I wrote my book - is to educate the next round of data deciders, and influence the next round of data development.  After all, if as the video says, most decision makers just want a good story that tells them something they didn't already know, that is interesting - that's an increadably hard thing to do, yet very suseptable to the next round of fast talkers and con-artists who are pedeling the next big thing.

Suggesting that as we adopt new data into the organization, we need the right way to examine the propositions that agencies and vendors are making, so we can, in a transparent fashion, make better decisions about it.

For the most part, don't think that's possible in the current enviornment - again, why I wrote the book on Social Media Analytics - which I hope, brings about the desired change (at least, from my perspective - because the current way of making these decisions does benefit some parties).

 

Cheers,

~marshall

Shawn Hessinger
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No silver bullet
Shawn Hessinger   12/15/2011 10:33:28 AM
Real eye opener, David. The interesting ideas here for me were both the reinforced concept of the analyst as storyteller (I think you proved your own abilities in that department with this video) and the idea of how analytics can drive scalability. If analytics are needed to track so many transactions, it stands to reason that analytics is a necessary component when attempting to reach this many transactions. So, get analytics and boost your revenue. 

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