Three ways to extract business value from analytics

Data Driven Business recently interviewed 9 corporate analytics experts from companies like Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal Paris, and Google about current trends in analytics and what companies should focus on in 2014 and found 3 main area of focus.

Data Driven Business Logo By Alesia Siuchykava, Project Director,
Data Driven Business

Most business decisions are driven by past experiences, emotions and intuition. But what if the analytics say something completely different? How do you strike the correct balance between data-driven insights and gut feeling to arrive at the right decisions more often?

This is what many business leaders are grappling with as data continues to rise up the corporate agenda. To find out from the front line what companies should focus on in 2014, Data Driven Business spoke to 9 analytics practitioners.

Their responses were revealing and indicated 3 main areas of focus this year:


    This was the most common challenge identified. As Alex Uher,Director, CRM & Analytics, L'Oréal Paris says, “There is a huge need for simplification and consolidation of analytics into a single platform/database, creating a single source for our analytics”. Jenson Lee from Sears Canada agrees, “Companies should focus on consolidating their data assets in 2014 to provide a strong foundation for analytics by paying close attention to the data integration processes.”


    Increasingly, the rising importance of data as an enterprise asset is driving analytics strategy up to the boardroom. “Strategic organizational design in the form of the rise of the new C-level roles like the Chief Data Officers, Chief Analytics Officers or Chief Data and Analytics Officers,” was identified as a key trend by Farouk Ferchichi, Executive Director, Toyota Financial Services. Stephen Sharpe,Director of Global Strategic Analytics,Johnson & Johnson also believes that “Leadership is the most critical factor for creating and delivering on competitive advantage; so think and believe that everyone is a leader and must act as a leader!”


    Using customer analytics to drive targeted marketing and create better customer engagement was the third major trend which stood out from the interviews.Sofia Freyder, Director of Product Management, MasterCard highlighted micro-segmentation and personalization: “Companies are trying to identify very specific customer segments and give them exactly what they want and to make them feel special.” This sentiment was shared by Jonathan Isernhagen, Director, Marketing Analysis, Travelocity, who stated the importance of “assembling a single customer image across multiple devices, and gathering click and impression data from all applicable media for channel attribution purposes.”

In addition to these key themes, other trends identified included a growth in the use of prescriptive analytics, mainstream adoption of machine learning and an increase in the use of visualization software and dashboards for more effective data story-telling and decision-making.

To see a full transcript of responses from all 9 experts, go to

These experts and many more leading brands will be speaking at the Useful Business Analytics Summit, taking place on June 10-11 in Boston. For more information visit