OCT 18, 2013 11:55am ET

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The Million Dollar Opportunity: Reaping Returns from Analytics

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As long ago as 2008, the Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K. saw a 50 percent increase in ticket sales at one of its theaters – following an investment in an analytics program that helped it identify specific audience segments for targeted marketing campaigns.

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Comments (1)
Excellent article. I am pleased to share some comments based on my experience in the analytics arena. Analytics clearly provide powerful tools to optimize business processes and value chain functions. What is often overlooked is understanding the impact of external and industry factors critical to maximize performance and mitigate risk. Some studies, for example, show that external factors have a 45 percent impact on ROA. Ignore these, and your analytics may address 55 percent of the critical performance and risk drivers. How will global environmental policies impact your business; what is impact of changing healthcare regulations on new drug development and clinical trials; what new market opportunities are projected based on disruptive innovation in your business; how will privacy and transborder data restrictions impact your business today and tomorrow. These are external drivers which can create new markets and 'destroy' existing ones. Addressing how the external environment impacts your business demands analytics addressing STEEP analysis, Porter's Five Forces, Peer Group modeling, and similar diagnostics. And these are not static analyses- change is the only constant in today's global environment, and having current data is critical. The winning formula- couple traditional external analysis tools, such as STEEP, with unstructured exogenous data analytics provides dynamic, real time insights on external market and business portfolio impact. Integrate these insights with internal data analytics to develop 'actionable' analytics. Today's fiercely competitive global markets demands this analytics rigor. One interesting statistic suggests 85 percent of today's analytics solutions address CRM applications, improving the performance and operations dealing with customers and related supply chain activities. The remaining 15 percent are emerging exciting analytics directions that offer exciting opportunities. For example, in the legal arena, Technology-Assisted Review or "TAR", uses computer models, machine learning, and analytics to sort millions of documents identifying relevant and privileged documents to support litigation with dramatic cost savings. TAR technologies are rapidly evolving and the acceptance of TAR is now being tested in state and Federal courts. Analytics will also play an expanded role in traditional corporate strategy management. Fortune 500 companies have thousands of business portfolios often managed using traditional analytics, e.g., hurdle rates, IRR, others. Understanding with precision how these individual portfolios align with the Company's overall strategic plan, what are the overall projection risks, where are the corporate exposures based on both internal and external factors, are the exciting new directions being pursued by leading edge companies. While analytics applications in healthcare are accelerating, we are at the tip of the iceberg. Using machine learning to optimize clinical care and reduce longitudinal costs for patient care; integrating healthcare claims data, EHR and genomic data to evaluate patient outlook for both clinical and insurance applications; tracking and analyzing medications and vital signs to assess drug efficacy and adverse effects for drug trial screening; are some of the many exciting new directions we see emerging that will redefine today's healthcare system improving both quality and cost performance. Senior management will be challenged to understand these new analytics applications to improve their global performance and mitigate risk. Even business schools must adapt- new analytics tools are reshaping our traditional approach to strategy development and competitive analysis. Clearly exciting times lie ahead for all players in the global analytics market Paul B. Silverman is Executive Chairman of InferX Corporation, a predictive analytics company and also teaches at the R.H. Smith School of Business in the University of Maryland. Contact: paul@paulbsilverman.com
Posted by Paul S | Thursday, November 21 2013 at 10:42PM ET
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