Making Analytics actionable - Add the power performance management to it as a catalyst

11.04.10 11:37 AM By S.Swaminathan

With  zillions of data points becoming available in organizations today, there has been a lot of buzz around the following:

  1. Using analytics in marketing campaigns driving relevance, immediacy, reducing wastage and optimizing spends
  2. Making marketing more accountable using the power of data that's becoming available like never before
  3. Getting analytics closer to business - Making it simpler and business manager friendly for action to be taken
  4. Getting organizations more customer-centric as customers leave a lot of trail about their behaviour - likes and dislikes

I have been always of the belief that analytics is not worth its weight in gold, if you don't make it actionable. The key to this has always been taking this power to the ultimate decision maker where ever he or she is in the organization - it could be the tele-sales rep on the phone, the customer service executive on the field, the marketing manager at customer's office etc. To make that happen, this has to be linked with performance management of employees who ultimately play a role in making this happen on the ground. Peppers & Rogers too seem to make this point in their recent  Expert Opinion( Mark Selcow)article: 

Organizations are beginning to recognize that these massive volumes of data are valuable for more than the immediate insights they reveal: By leveraging metrics, dashboards, and other PM components, data can also be harnessed to change behavior and processes.

The connection between the growing interest in analytics and PM is not coincidental. Analytics is about mining data for patterns and insights – making big discoveries that help advance big ideas. PM is about turning operational data into metrics that show performance versus a goal on a task or process that matters. Simply put: Analysis, Action.

Here are a few quick thoughts on how analytics and PM can fit together in a single project initiative:

  1. Select the best projects to execute against that will help advance a critical goal, such as customer churn reduction (analytics)
  2. Determine what the metrics and goals should be in each project (analytics)
  3. Uncover patterns that can be addressed with process reengineering or team/individual intervention (both analytics and PM)
  4. Plan out the financial impacts of making operational change, such as modifying compensation, or tightening/relaxing SLAs (PM)
  5. Operationalize the insights and plans by introducing to the organization, for example, in dashboards or in incentive systems (PM)
  6. Measure and control performance (PM)

This will continue to be an area of growing interest in organizations as the results then get tangible, metrics then become a measure for evaluation of employees who are responsible for making this happen.

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