Many companies seem to follow a “Christmas morning toy” routine when it comes to business intelligence and analytics:
- See cool reports and charts
- “We want those!”
- Spend time and money implementing them
- “Wow, these are cool!”
- Move on something else and eventually forget all about the cool reports and charts
Sometimes there’s also a “CNN effect” — a report or graph is chosen and shown continuously, eventually joining the background hum of endless noise.
It doesn’t have to be like this. You can make business intelligence and analytics pay off by turning analytics into action. The missing ingredient is goals.
For example, pick a report from opentaps Analytics: sales by region, sales by product, sales by brand, sales by day of week. Now set a goal to improve it. For example, “Increase sales in region X”. Once you set a goal, one that could be measured, analytics is no longer just a fun thing to have around, but something actionable.
Over time, you will see over time that most actions in a business could be framed in terms of goals that can be measured:
- Add a new distributor. -> Will this increase sales in this region?
- Add new products or brands. -> Will this increase sales without decreasing sales of existing products or brands?
- Send out an email blast on Tuesday in addition to Wednesday. -> Does this increase sales on Tuesdays? Does it shift sales from Wednesday to Tuesday?
And when you start thinking like this, analytics will become the lifeblood of your business.