Data Analysis for Customer Insight
I attended a really excellent Sales Directors Forum last week
and it really woke me up to the demand out there in so many organisations for better data analysis. The organisers from Treacy Consulting
did a superb job in getting over 30 Sales Managers and Sales Directors from different organisations to meet to discuss the challenges facing them as we get through the recession. Among the topics discussed were their responses to the following questions
1. Do you expect a year on year increase in sales for 2010?
2. How has your sales headcount changed in the last 2 years?
3. What sales team headcount are you predicting for the next 12 months?
4. Does your company forecast an increase in bad debt provision/ collection for the next 12 months ?
In their responses to the questionnaire, which had been filled out in advance, the attendees had indicated that they were spending money on CRM systems (50%), Search Engine Optimisation (50%), and Blogging & Social Media (68%). But when the discussion started I was fascinated to note that many wanted better and faster data analysis to be made available to them for immediate decision making in so many different areas.
Value versus Volume
A large Drinks Manufacturer wanted better Key Performance Indicator (KPI) measurement to determine what product mix they should be promoting. He pointed out that in difficult times we need better data and data analysis so that we can understand how to grow value when we cannot grow volume. In order to do this we need to better understand the Promotional Mix and this is driven by Customer Insight. ‘Promotions that are not measured are a waste of money’ he said. Their product is the same drink but packaged and promoted in different ways. They have a large family pack, different size bottles and cans, different adverts and promotions and so on. There is obviously a different cost profile associated with the different product mixes and so the challenge is to better understand the value that can be extracted from promoting the optimal mix. This can only be done by constantly measuring the demand at a granular level and delivering this information accurately and in an intuitive way so that the decision makers can do a better job. For this to be done they would need better Key Performance Indicators and better data analysis.
is the Business Intelligence solution for this. Demand can be tracked over time – different outlets will have different social groupings and age profiles – these can be measured and mapped against the demand for the different products and for different time frames, even for different hours in the day. The Point of Sale system can deliver the information from all the outlets and this can be fed directly into QlikView
. Using its powerful associative software QlikView
can instantly analyse and show trends – and more importantly it can alert the user to unusual patterens and even predict future demand.