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Posts Tagged ‘business intelligence’

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!

Will Data Mining Be a Savior for Record Labels?

Data Mining and Record LabelsA recent post on The Modeling Agency blog discussed some practical examples of data mining. Now from the headlines comes another example: data mining may equal salvation for struggling record labels.

The Guardian Media Network writer Lucy Fisher explains how record labels are suffering from a lack of CRM, or customer relationship management, and how data mining is the key to developing an essential CRM framework.  She writes:

In the digital world, there’s a need to reach out to millions of music lovers, for whom accessing tracks involves just the click of a button. “There are various social media properties for artists but these don’t represent proper CRM,” he says. “True CRM is where they need to get to. If they don’t own the data and the customer relationship across the various touchpoints, they won’t succeed.”

The acid test, says Uttley, is: do you know the 100,000 biggest fans and do you have their contact details?

Building a CRM through data mining with the amount of data a large record label possesses is no small effort. And restructuring daily operations so that they are data-friendly has proved to be something of a challenge. The music industry is heavily entrenched in gut instinct and decision making based on educated guesswork. Data mining, on the other hand, is a precise science.

But data mining can be used not only to identify brand ambassadors and key influencers, but to form predictive models to estimate future customer behavior. That is, after all, not so far off from the way record labels have traditionally operated – making often major business decisions based on a prediction, however based in intuition, about how customers will react.

The Guardian piece is revealing and intriguing, and worth a read for anyone who is a fan of data science, or just looking to understand data mining through concrete examples of how it can be used in business.

If you think data mining could help your business but you’re not sure where to start, try one of The Modeling Agency’s free webinars. You’ll learn the foundation of successful data mining practices and get your next campaign off on the right foot.

Learn from Three Common Business Intelligence Mistakes

Data AnalyticsSQL Server Pro’s Brian Knight recently published an insightful article detailing three mistakes to avoid when launching a business intelligence project. Considering a 2005 Gartner study revealed 50% of all data analytics projects are doomed to failure, there are plenty of pitfalls to be aware of when planning such a project.

The three mistakes SQL Server Pro highlights are:

  • – Biting off more than you can chew with a project that’s entirely too large. Scaling back the scope of your project is often a critical element to feasibility and determines outcome.
  • – Trying to launch a project without proper support, i.e. an advocate who’s a business leader. While people who are not data specialists will often instigate a data project, they should not be in complete control of said project.
  • – Not taking into account issues with data quality. Most businesses have some problems with the quality of their data. The trick is identifying where the problems may be so you can avoid them when you launch your analysis.


For Mr. Knight’s full take on these stumbling blocks visit SQL Server Pro. For an in-depth, interactive examination of why many data projects fail and how you can ensure your next data analytics project is a success, register for one of The Modeling Agency’s free webinars. On December 12th experts from The Modeling Agency will be hosting a free webinar entitled “Data Mining: Failure to Launch” that addresses many common problems and mistakes and how to avoid them.

What Predictive Analytics Pros Don’t Do (But Need To)

Business Intelligence and Predictive AnalyticsRecently Eric King, president and founder of The Modeling Agency, contributed a featured article to BeyeNETWORK’s BI Trends+Strategies.

The article, which appeared in the September 2012 edition, is entitled “What Predictive Analytics Pros Don’t Do (But Need To)”. In the article, Eric explains how lack of preparation dooms data analysis projects. He discusses five key things that business intelligence professionals frequently overlook when mounting projects. Proper preparation, training, solid design, asking the right questions and avoiding distractions are all examined as ways to avoid common pitfalls that cause problems for analytics pros.

You can read the September 2012 issue on the BeyeNETWORK site in PDF format. Eric’s article begins on page 3.

For more wisdom from The Modeling Agency, check out our regularly scheduled free webinars. Ready for something in-depth? We have training sessions scheduled around the country.