It used to be simpler for businesses. Your competitive advantage (how you “won”) was based on some combination of price, quality, service, location, or perhaps even a distribution channel. If you sold products through a grocery store, you competed for shelf space. You knew your customers, your industry, and your competitors, and you developed skills in the key competitive areas.
But suddenly, the landscape has changed – radically. New business models and products have disrupted industries and businesses to the point of extinction or near extinction. Think Blockbuster and Blackberry. Or forced them into massive transformation. Think taxis and electric cars. They have led to new ways of doing business – to access customers, sell products, and find suppliers. They have also led to more and more competitors looking to eat away at your markets. With so much innovation, many incumbents are having a crazy time keeping up with all the ways they are under attack. From banking to cab companies to television to services to shopping. And data is only one part. Where does blockchain fit in? Or the Internet of Things? Or artificial intelligence (AI)? There are many challenges and opportunities for incumbents to consider to ensure their continued success.
Increasingly, what we know is this – that successful businesses are competing on data and with data. Competitive advantage comes from being the first to know what's happening in your markets, with your products and your customers.
So, how will you stay on top of changing demographics, new customers and wide-ranging differences in customer expectations? Customer Experience now matters like never before.
"Competing on data", whether for incumbents or new players, is increasingly becoming the new normal. Yes, you still need to focus on your value proposition: whether it is cost, quality, service, location, or some other differentiator. But now, you need to layer on a faster model – one that lets you know sooner, act faster, and, ultimately, win more.
Data science and analytics, whether through real-time Business Intelligence, Predictive Modelling, the Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, or other methods are starting to beat many traditional business models. Readying your business for the future is essential. We understand the challenges. It's not just an add-on here, or a website there, or even an app. It's a strategy, with all the key elements to help your customers continually benefit from your continuing analytic improvement.
Banks and insurers need to know more than which clients are profitable, they need to know how to find more of the ones they want the most rather than treat everyone who walks in the door the same. In a social media world, product and service business need to drive loyalty like never before. In agriculture, farmers need the soil to tell them before it gets too dry. Pipelines need to alert operators before the leak occurs. Machines need to warn plant operators before they fail. Retailers, working with ever shorter cycles, need to be surer than ever that a new line will turn over. An online site needs to produce, every bit as much as we measure sales per square foot in a physical store. In almost every market and every business, there is a need to re-examine some of the competitive pillars, and consider the role of data and how to leverage it. Increasingly, a well-run business is getting good at knowing what’s going to happen, and acting on it early.
You may know what you need to do – but actually doing can still be hard. You have to identify the right data, and it has to be trusted. You have to have the technical skills to shepherd it and turn it into actionable data. And then, you must know how to use it – to turn insights into results. Most of our clients are on that journey.
But competing on data starts with ... data. The right data, used the right way, can help you to know sooner, act faster, and win more. It isn't one and done – it's more of a start, measure, improve, and build a competitive advantage that grows over time. That's what we call strategic analytics.
Strategic Analytics is how you Know Sooner, Act Faster, Win More.