If there's one thing that comes through every year at SAS Global Forum, it's that business analytics acts as a driving force behind organizational success.
While at SAS Global Forum this year I had the pleasure of doing a panel interview with James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions. The full clip is available on Tuesday's Live Report, but one of the most interesting things to me was how similar our point of view was on the importance of pushing analytics as close to the people making the decisions as possible.
Without a doubt, the big decisions are important - they set direction, they define strategy, and they give the organization something to align against. What's often overlooked is that the smaller decisions can have an astonishingly large impact on overall profitability; because they're made many times over, their proportionally smaller impact adds up quickly over time.
The decision whether or not to move towards one-to-one customer interaction happens once. If executed successfully, it has a profound impact on any organization, ideally for the better. However, the decision on which offer to make to a customer on any given interaction can happen millions of times per day. A small increase in the probability of an offer being accepted can drive massive increases in profitability and turnover.
Without a strong decision management framework backing front-line staff's ability to execute, creating such significant change is near impossible. It requires the ability to orchestrate activities through well-defined workflows. It requires the ability to accurately predict not just what the customer will most likely be interested in but also what their second and third highest preferences are. It requires the ability to all this in real-time. And, it requires the ability to scale to the millions (and sometimes billion) of transactions the world's largest organizations are involved in.
Success requires pushing the smarts as close to where the decision's made as possible. Analytics doesn't happen in isolation - it's part of a value chain - in this year's opening session, Caesars Entertainment and the Royal Bank of Scotland said repeatedly that success is heavily linked to the ability to leverage business analytics. Without access to SAS, it's unlikely that they would have seen the success they have. Their execution approach may be unique, but the correlation between their use of business analytics and their success isn't.