I recently talked with the director of analytic operations at a large office supply retailer who explained that his group is often approached with broad questions that they investigate historically and descriptively to help figure out where to go next. The broad questions often lead the retailer to learn things they wouldn’t have known about without analytics—including the variables and relationships that are not obvious.
For example, analytics led this retailer to change their online and storefront strategy to enable a consumer conversion from low-end papers and pens into high-end PCs, printers and tablets —using the storefront to build relationships and gain credibility and the Web to fill their consumers’ growing needs.
Analytics also identified the migration of the purchaser and the marketing mix required to make the conversion.
Recognizing that it takes more than good analytics software to have a successful analytics program, we asked a director at the office supply retailer what they look for in analytical talent. He responded, we look for people with the willingness and curiosity to ask the right questions which is critical in making analytics work well continuously.
Recently, Accenture and SAS sponsored a research study focused on what analytically successful companies, like the retailer mentioned here, are doing to reap the benefits of their analytics investments.
Download the report, “Getting your money’s worth with Analytics,” to read about the variables that differentiate a company’s analytical performance, including input from front-runners to trailers.