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Author: Anil Venkat | 04/04/16

Analytics: Best Practices for the Engine That Will Drive Business

A group of executives have a meeting about using data to make decisions, transform the business, and drive growth. There’s a lot of excitement because everyone knows “data science” isn’t just a buzzword–it’s the future, the smart way to serve business across the value chain.

But after the meeting no one is quite sure exactly what to do, and over time it seems like everyone is repeating same presentation over and over without ever reaching a tangible result.

Analytics: Best Practices for the Engine That Will Drive Business

Sounds familiar?

This scenario was recently put forward by Dr. Andreas Braun, Head of Global Data & Analytics at Allianz Group, during a webinar that also featured Aneesh Chaudhry, Global Analytics Director at Unilever. The webinar was hosted by Mindtree with the goal of grounding our understanding and expectations of data science and analytics, by getting straight talk from two authorities in the subject.

The hour-long conversation sought to address:

  • What does data science mean from a business expectations point of view?
  • What kinds of problems are companies running into and how do they deal with them?
  • How are companies setting up analytics teams in their organization?
  • Where does analytics stand with addressing the vital need for personalization?

Our Experts: Broad, Varied Uses of Data Science

Braun and Chaudhry provided an overview of how data analytics is put in effect at their respective organizations, and it was no surprise that their responses revealed broad and varied use cases.

Braun said that his team at Allianz focuses on bringing analytics to bear on three key areas:

  • Customer refinement – identifying and staying within a relevant set of consumers, so that digital offerings and services are targeted and delivered intelligently.
  • Digital business models – using analytics to come up with new products and solutions
  • Trust – in the digital age, ensuring that use of data happens within the law as well as customers’ comfort levels.

Chaudhry noted that his team at Unilever had a very similar approach, and he also noted some additional focus areas. One is a constant attention to how to accomplish things at scale. In other words, how to realistically take a great idea or innovation and scale it up to 100+ countries around the world. He also said that a new niche was created in just the last year–using analytics to help with cross-functional choices. Business tradeoffs in investments are difficult to assess–for instance finance versus R&D or marketing versus supply chain–and now data analytics is helping aid those tough choices.

Data: The Brains of Digital Business

What was most clear is that these experts shared the opinion that all digital business is fundamentally about the data ecosystem at the back end, which delivers the brains and intelligence to digital solutions. Whether you’re talking about personalized apps, the Internet of Things, or automated services–these are just interfaces to that data-based intelligence that sits in the background.

Over the next few weeks we will publish new blogs with unique insights from the webinar, which you view now in its entirety here.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to share opinions and comments in this space. After all, Chaudhry himself notes that his team keeps a close look at thinking that happens outside Unilever–among the startup ecosystem and other companies–in order to bring that into the internal conversation and make connections for problems opportunities and solutions.

It’s exactly why we put together the webinar–to spark discussion, share learning and jumpstart new ideas.

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