Magazine article Management Today

MT Analytics in Action Awards: Winning Ways with Data

Magazine article Management Today

MT Analytics in Action Awards: Winning Ways with Data

Article excerpt

Analytics offers insights into everything from satisfying customers to eradicating fraud to improving public safety. As the recipients of the first Analytics in Action Awards have shown, smart companies are putting it at the heart of their operations.

How can you be sure billboard posters for a new movie or car launch are in the right location? How can you make cuts to a fire service and at the same time improve the protection it gives to local people? How can you ensure that each of your customers receives exactly the right offer at the right time? And how do you arrive at these decisions? Through gut instinct ... or data-driven insight.

These were just some of the challenges described by entrants to our first ever Analytics in Action Awards. MT has partnered with Accenture Analytics to create a set of annual awards that recognises and rewards the organisations of every size and sector that are successfully positioning analytics at the heart of their operations and are turning their data-driven insights into positive action and outcomes for their customers and clients.

Yes, organisations are collecting more data than ever before. But their opportunities lie not in collecting the data, but in using technologies to analyse and find insights that innovate the way they carry out their business and solve important problems for the people they serve.

Yet, while few would dispute the value of data as a source of business ideas and opportunities, changing attitudes about the role of data in decision-making remains a work-in-progress in some organisations. In many boardrooms, data-based approaches still lose out to the instinctive style of decision-making.

'These awards suggest that a growing number of organisations are now including the scientific side in the mix along with intuition and experience, which collectively make up the art and science of decision-making,' says Ray Eitel-Porter, managing director of Accenture Analytics. 'With business operations accelerating and decision-making occurring with real-time immediacy, the weighting of these tools will inevitably need to shift in favour of data-based approaches.'

We invited entries from teams who are helping their organisations to adapt, coupling the explosion of data with the power of analytics, whether that's to optimise business functions and processes or converge marketing with sales and customer service to create an end-to-end customer experience.

The quality of entries to this inaugural awards suggests usage of analytics is rising, that organisations are expanding their predictive capabilities and their leadership is supportive.

But drilling down to the details of each project reveals a more nuanced picture. The effective application of analytics can require changes to long-established business processes, which is never easy. Likewise, finding the right way to embed the power of analytics in business operations isn't obvious.

Our Analytics in Action Awards suggest that the winners will be those organisations that manage to infuse insights into operations, embedding analytics into business processes in a robust, industrialised way and generating the right action recommendations to the right role at the right time.

'Developing a repeatable decision-making process that gets the most out of data and analytical methods should be a high priority for any organisation interested in making the right decisions for its customers, clients, shareholders and employees,' says Eitel-Porter.

Over the next few pages, we acknowledge and congratulate our award-winning organisations, which have made analysis an integral part of their everyday processes, changing they way they do their work and create their value. …

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