Companies are awash in data but corporate leaders don’t always know the most effective ways to extract business value from customer and market information like hiring a data scientist.
This is one of the reasons why hiring a data scientist a.k.a data analyst can help a company reach its business objectives through the ability to interpret data to spot customer and market trends quickly, as 352 Media Group’s Mike Cushing notes.
This is another way that data scientistscan help companies unleash business value. In addition to compiling reports and ensuring the integrity of the data that’s being used, data analysts can alert line managers as well as senior executives to key customer trends or market shifts that are materializing.
A group of McKinsey & Company consultants point to a leading chemicals and services company that uses analytics to take a more granular approach to its business and identify the greatest areas and regions for growth. It works like this: The company pulls its sales reps away from over-served territories and redeploys sales teams to new hot spots. Within a year, the company’s sales growth rates double – with no increase in sales or marketing costs.
Here are three additional ways that data analysts can help companies unleash business value:
- Refine target audiences. The more information that companies gather and analyze about their customers, the more they learn about their behaviors, needs, and preferences. This information also provides greater knowledge about the lifecycle stage that a particular set of customers is at (e.g. dual-income with children nearing college age). This type of information can help companies identify the most likely customers for certain products and services. Data analysts are masters at distilling this type of information.
- Conduct problem solving using a quantifiable, data-driven approach. For years, executives have made million-dollar decisions based on gut instinct. But that’s no longer necessary with the volume of data that’s available from so many channels and market sources for decision makers to pore over. Not only can data analysts help senior leaders make the right decisions based on facts, they can also provide impartial, data-led guidance for critical decisions when the top brass are deadlocked on the right path to take.
- Acting as a data-to-business translator. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, many companies struggle with communicating and interpreting the results from analytics efforts. Data analysts can fill a critical role here by helping senior executives make sense of the data that’s being presented to them as well as by helping them understand how the information can be applied to various areas of the business.
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