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.
@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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
2015 Visual Analytics Interactive RoadshowSAS(r) experts are coming to a city near you in a series of live, interactive workshops focused on SAS Visual Analytics, including how to prepare your data for VA, the integration of VA with Office Analytics and a Visual Statistics demo.
January 22: King of Prussia, PA
February 24: Austin, TX
March 26: Redwood City, CA
April 22: NYC, NY (1st of 2 stops)
May 13: Seattle, WA
June 18: Minneapolis, MN
July 21: Rockville, MD
August 18: Chicago, IL
September 24: Irvine, CA
October 9: Cary, NC (during SAS Championship)
October 21: NYC, NY (2nd of 2 stops)
November 17: Orlando, FL
December 8: Atlanta, GA
LEADERS FROM THE BUSINESS AND IT COMMUNITIES DUEL OVER CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Current Discussion
Visual Analytics: Who Carries the Onus? The Issue: Data visualization is an up-and-coming technology for businesses that want to deliver analytical results in a visual way, enabling analysts the ability to spot patterns more easily and business users to absorb the insight at a glance and better understand what questions to ask of the data. But does it make more sense to train everybody to handle the visualization mandate or bring on visualization expertise? Our experts are divided on the question. The Speakers: Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst, Nucleus Research; Jonathan Schwabish, US Economist & Data Visualizer
The hospitality industry gathers massive amounts of customer data, and mining that data effectively can yield tremendous results in terms of improved CRM, better-targeted marketing spend, and more efficient back-end processes. Roger Ares, vice president of analytics at Hyatt Corp., discusses the ways he and his staff use big data.
Charged with keeping track of travel assets, including employees, iJET International relies on data management best-practices and advanced analytics to keep its clients in the know on current and potential world events affecting travel, Rich Murnane, Director of Enterprise Data Operations & Data Architect, told All Analytics in an interview from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics and keynote speaker at last month's SAS Global Forum 2014, describes how Gen Y professionals are enhancing the makeup of multigenerational analytics organizations.
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Talking with All Analytics live from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference, Eric Helmer, senior manager of campaign design and execution for T-Mobile, discussed the importance of customer data -- starting internally -- in devising the mobile operator's marketing plans.
The big-data analytics market can be a confusing place. Among the vendors vying for your dollars are traditional database management providers, Hadoop startup services, and IT giants. In this video, All Analytics editors Beth Schultz and Michael Steinhart sit down in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek. Henschen discusses use cases for big-data analytics, purchase considerations, and his recent roundup of the top 16 big-data analytics platforms.
At the National Retail Federation BIG Show last month, All Analytics executive editor Michael Steinhart noted a host of solutions for tracking and analyzing customer activity in retail stores. From Bluetooth beacons to RFID tags to NFC connections to video analytics, retailers must find the right combination of tools to help optimize the shopper experience, streamline operations, and boost revenues.
The days when historical shipment trends and gut feelings were enough to forecast retail demand accurately are long over. SAS chief industry consultant Charles Chase outlines the benefits of pulling real-time sales information from point-of-sale and product scanner systems, then flowing that data into dynamic forecasting tools from SAS.
With today's advanced visual analytics tools, you can stream data into memory for real-time processing, provide users the ability to explore and manipulate the data, and bring your data to life for the business.
Dynamic data visualizations let analysts and business users interact with the data, changing variables or drilling down into data points, and see results in a flash. Advance your use of data visualization with tools that support features like auto-charting, explanatory pop-ups, and mobile sharing.
No doubt your enterprise is amassing loads of data for fact-based decision-making. Hand in hand with all that data comes big computational requirements. Can traditional IT infrastructure handle the increasing number and complexity of your analytical work? Probably not, which is why you need a backend rethink. Big data calls for a high-performance analytics infrastructure, as Fern Halper, a partner at the IT consulting and research firm, Hurwitz & Associates, discusses here.
Redbox's bright-red DVD kiosks are all but ubiquitous these days, located in more than 28,000 spots across the country. Jayson Tipp, Redbox VP of Analytics and CRM, provides an insider's look at how the company has accomplished its phenomenal nine-year growth.