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Posts Tagged ‘analytics’

Are You Overlooking Analytics Because You are a Small Business?

SmallBizIt’s a mistake to overlook the power of data analytics just because you are a small business. If you are gathering data at all (and most businesses do) then you probably have everything you need to launch a profitable project, provided you’ve also identified a good, solid business objective.

Not sure what problems to solve, or how your data can help you? Here are a couple of examples.

  • Do you do direct mail or email marketing? Use data analytics to learn how to make incremental improvements in your response rate.
  • Who are your most profitable customers? What makes them profitable? How can you get more of these customers?
  • Which marketing methods produce the best results? How can you capitalize on this to get better leads for less money?

Of course, you may not have all the data that you need to make some of these determinations. That’s okay. Developing a good strategy and setting the right targets are the most important part of the process. Frankly, you can always buy data, if you really need it.

Why go through all this trouble? Addressing small agencies in the insurance industry, Brian S. Cohen of Property Casualty 360 wrote:

Today, customer acquisition and retention takes place in real time, or close to it. The more information you have about current and potential customers, the better you will be able to address their needs when and where they want it. That’s why you need to embrace data analytics–it gives you the information you need, when you need it.

If you are like most agencies, you’ve already done the hard part by getting rid of your paper files and moving to an electronic agency-management system platform.

Now, you need to start using your data.

What applies to a small, independent insurance agency applies to any other small business just as well. Just make sure that you launch your project correctly by fully understanding the pitfalls and problems that can slow you down or even rob your project of its profitability. If you’re ready to do that, register for TMA’s free webinar: Data Mining, Failure to Launch, today!

Predictive Analytics Tackles a School District’s Enrollment Problems

StudentsThe Forest Grove School district has been losing students, many of them to voluntary transfers. According to Oregon Live, the district is now turning to data mining to figure out the reasons and what they might change to retain these students.

This information will have a direct impact on budget expenditures. The school district is exploring the possibility of spending money on new programs if the data seems to support it.

Enrollment is a matter of revenue for the school district. And students in the state can enroll in different school districts without any special permission or reason.

Of course, this problem has parallels in the business world. You can draw a parallel from “enrollment” to customer retention, for example.

A company could try to track reasons why customers leave and can use that information to adjust their programs, offerings, products and services to try to keep those customers around. If your company is facing similar problems you’re now looking at an excellent case study, and an example of a problem that could be directly applied to your business.

Now you just have to avoid many of the major pitfalls that companies struggle with when they begin data mining projects. You can do this by joining TMA’s next session of “Data Mining: Failure to Launch.” This webinar is an hour long and absolutely free. You’ll also get some free consultation time with some of the best minds in the data mining industry in the webinar’s Q&A section, allowing you to ask specific questions about how you might make data mining work for your organization. Register now.

Data Mining Tackles Literary Analysis

booksIf you can ask the right question data mining can help you find answers in surprising places. Just ask Matthew Jockers, an assistant professor at the University of Lincoln.

The Daily Nebraskan seems an unlikely place to find a story about data mining. A college English Department seems an even more unlikely place. But there it is.

Jockers, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, uses a type of text analysis called macroanalysis. Instead of focusing on the themes, ideas and concepts of an individual author, macroanalysis compares the individual to the group.

His previous research looked at late 18th and 19th century books, and now he’s looking at more than 50,000 books from the 19th and 20th century. The books are compared to point out similar wording, overarching concepts and other literary trends among individuals, sexes, time periods, regions or demographic groups.

…This information brings to light potential answers to many of the literary world’s questions. Themes and ideas of overarching societies and cultures will be able to be more clearly defined. Companies and writers can even use the information to determine what makes a good book.

This is proof positive that setting a solid target in a creative, strategic way is more important than math. When Jockers needed math he turned to a math professor to get the model set up, but this research would not be happening if he hadn’t first come up with a firm road map of where he wanted to go.

How are your target setting skills? If you’d like to sharpen them so that you can start bringing the benefits of data mining to your organization then it’s time to get started with The Modeling Agency’s free webinar, “Data Mining, Failure to Launch.” What will you do with your data?

Predictive Analytics Helps Change the Face of Recalls

AutoRecallsThere are few events more costly to a business than a recall. The costs in terms of lost time, lost money, and lost public trust can be staggering.

And, of course, nobody wants to put consumers in danger.

Fortunately, predictive analytics has changed all that. According to Automotive News, data mining has just helped GM limit a recall to just 4 cars.

That’s right, four cars.

In the past, the auto maker might have recalled the model and inconvenienced tens of thousands of owners, despite thinking just a few cars had the defect. Or it might have let the defect slide, putting a few customers at risk of a crash.

But…[when]…a 2012 Chevrolet Volt was brought in for a warranty repair in Europe, General Motors had a third, better option.

On May 30, the auto maker assigned the engineer to dig into a data base that tracks the parts used in its cars, and it collected manufacturing records from the supplier–in this case, TRW Automotive. Within a month, GM had identified [all 4]…of the cars on US soil with the faulty valve, called the owners and sent a formal notice to the US Government.

…Maureen Foley-Gardner, director of field performance evaluation at GM, said the auto maker had used its database for 20 percent of field actions this year, up from 5 percent in 2012, and watched as the average action has shrunk by 40%.

This development is poised to save the auto industry a staggering $50 billion per year. And, as the article goes on to note, this accomplishment only scratches the surface of the kinds of problems that auto companies are solving every single day when they use data mining the right way.

If you’d like to start seeing big results in your business then it’s time to get the training that you need to use data mining correctly. Start with TMA’s free webinar, then move on to The Modeling Agency’s advanced training courses.

Which problems will you solve today?

Predictive Analytics Helps Sales Teams Become More Productive

salesrepresentativesAny business that has a sales team knows that reducing wasted time is one of the biggest challenges sales managers face. And nothing wastes more time than pursuing the wrong leads.

This is why good leads can make the difference between a good sales team and a great one.

A recent Forbes article discusses how one company is using predictive analytics to solve this problem. Forbes had a conversation with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, the Chief Marketing Officer of Mindjet, a company who has used predictive analytics to make this difference.

Mindjet is using predictive analytics to understand which leads are the highest quality and have the highest probability of turning into sales. With several thousand leads and trials being generated every week, traditional lead scoring techniques were not reliably segmenting out which leads had the highest probability of closing. With dozens of attributes included in their lead scoring application, Mindjet still wasn’t effectively providing the sales team with highly qualified and prioritized leads.

Getting only the highest qualified leads to sales can make the most of their selling time is a high priority for Mindjet marketing. This required the marketing team to get beyond lead scoring and determine which factors most and least contributed to lead quality.

Mindjet’s efforts resulted in 4.4 times more qualified leads than the company had previously enjoyed. That’s a lot of closed deals and a huge return on investment that will continue to play out in the very near future.

Do you want to win similar results for your business? If you approach predictive analytics the right way, you can! You just need the strategic training to use these methods appropriately.

If you’re ready to get started, try TMA’s free webinar. Or sign up for any of TMA’s advanced training courses. The Modeling Agency will arm you with the tools you need to get great results for your business.