Bellwether Magazine – Fall 2015 issue
No one has to tell the marketing people at any SMB that the game has changed in the last few years. Data analysis has surged. Just about every competitor has embraced it, forcing even the laggards to pay attention.
The problem now is getting all that new data work done — and that’s usually done by clearing three main bottlenecks.
Bottleneck #1: Reports can’t be modified as fast as your needs change.
Most SMB marketing staffs lack a dedicated report whiz. You think you see an opportunity, but first you want to see the data. You say, “Let’s see if Ken can add these questions today,” knowing that Ken is already buried in other work. Your opportunity may fly away as you wait.
Even when Ken makes the change made in time, it’s just a make-do. Perhaps Ken didn’t quite get the question, or he didn’t have time to polish it up the way you’d like. Every time you run the report, the report’s tiny glitches exact another tiny tax on your patience.
When you wish you could have reports that answered your questions, you’re kindly reminded that you’ve pushed Excel as far as you know how to. You have to get by and shut up.
The solution: Deploy a business intelligence system designed from the start for business users. The system should be easy to use for the average business user. Even better, it would come with a deep library of ready-made templates and typical metrics. You could make a move while the opportunity is ripe, and you could let Ken do his higher value work.
Bottleneck #2: The office is where the data is, and you’re tethered.
When you go on the road or even down the hall, perhaps you lug printed reports. It’s nice to have them on hand — until you’re hit by surprise. Perhaps someone raises a question and, oops, you don’t have the one crucial report. The CEO may be asking, or a prime customer, or someone on your team. If only you had that data!
The solution: a reporting system that travels with you using any device – a desktop, a web or mobile device. It lets you answer any question on the spot. Even if your reports aren’t configured to answer any particular question, you just reshuffle the data. It’s all right there on your tablet or smartphone.
Bottleneck #3: Lots of questions, but you don’t know where to start.
What new segments and campaigns have you not dared to dream of? The first two bottlenecks make a third: you don’t even have time to think about what else your data could show you.
What if you asked Question A in a slightly different way? What if we tried to correlate Group A’s cycle with Region F’s growth? You don’t dare try. You know how difficult it is just to change a report. Asking new questions — much less new questions in rapid succession as you think of them — just breeds more frustration.
The solution: A tool that lets you fly through your questions and answers as you think — a method called data discovery. The key to data discovery is fast and fluid questions and answers with no interruptions.
These three bottlenecks may all be part of life, like traffic congestion, and just plain too much to do every day. But you really do have options.
The leading option is DataSelf Analytics. It’s a mature solution that has combined best of breed components into one complete and polished solution. Tableau, top rated on the Gartner Magic Quadrant the last three years, is the gold standard for easy to use reporting and data discovery. Tableau feeds from DataSelf’s backend components, which send it data at the speed and volume that fast evolving questions require. For more information, go to dataself.com. Be sure to watch our video.