How Professional Business Data Analytics Firms Are Meeting The Changing Views Of Data
In recent times, firms across various industries have realized the value of data and are looking to harness the power of data analytics to drive decision-making. Professional business data analytics firms have become increasingly important to organizations as they help to match them with academics or students to solve complex business problems. Eric Bradlow, co-founder of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), and Raghuram Iyengar, faculty director of WCAI, discussed the changing views of data and analytics technology in a recent interview.
Eric Bradlow noted that in the early days of WCAI, many companies looked outside their organizations for analytics solutions, but over time, many firms have developed their own in-house analysts. Consequently, the demand for professional business data analytics firms has changed. Although the need for such firms still exists, they must now offer more than just research. They must broaden their services to include students, alumni, and executives.
As data analytics technology becomes more affordable and accessible to organizations, the demand for “soft” skills has increased. The importance of having individuals with business acumen, good management skills, and analytics expertise cannot be overemphasized. The challenge, however, is finding the right individuals that sit at the intersection of these skills. To address this challenge, WCAI runs a successful executive education program where they teach individuals how to hire the right set of people, including data analysts, data engineers, and data scientists.
The types of questions companies seek to answer using data have evolved over time. Data analytics is no longer the preserve of geeks and nerds within the marketing department. Analytics is now viewed as a great way to break down silos between different departments in an organization. For instance, questions around customer lifetime value have become more sophisticated and resonate with people in different job functions. In conclusion, the use of data analytics in decision-making has come a long way, and firms must continue to adapt to remain relevant to the needs of organizations.
What are the main takeaways from the interview on customer analytics?
The interview covers several topics on customer analytics. One key takeaway is that much of the data collected by companies is not predictive and is, in fact, useless. Companies need to focus on collecting better data that is both valuable for the firm and better for customers. Additionally, there are privacy concerns surrounding the collection and use of data, and companies need to consider the costs and benefits of using this data.
The emergence of AI and machine learning means that data and analytics are now being analyzed by machines in addition to humans, but there will still be an art to it, and humans will still be needed for more subtle and difficult decisions. Finally, the major trends in customer analytics over the next decade will likely focus on watching what people have done and projecting what they will do next, as well as utilizing new data sources such as physical location to enable targeted marketing.