Data And Analytics
Companies will focus on data and analytics in 2015 for high-powered growth. Data management and analytics in realms of marketing, sales and finance will create the significant competitive advantage for companies raring for bigger profits in the coming year, says Prof. Maurizio Poli, the renowned academician and Director of Global Executive MBA, at SDA Bocconi, Italy. He is also a faculty member of many Master and MBA Programmes of SDA Bocconi and the Mumbai International School of Business (MISB) as also visiting professor in European, Asian and American Schools. His areas of expertise include business analytics and modelling, risk analysis, data visualization, project management and control systems.
With more than two-thirds of executives across major companies asserting that data analysis has been the cornerstone of their firm’s growth last year, 2015 is now mapped to be the colossal in aspects of data driven strategic growth spurt. According to a recent survey conducted in United States and Europe, more than a quarter of high-growth companies — those achieving Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) growth of 15% or more in each of the last two years — described themselves as resourceful at extracting useful insights from data that improves overall competitiveness and performance.
“Need for quality data analysis is only going to increase with the kind of data explosion happening in the online world. Reports suggest that requirements for data analysts will increase manifold in the next five years,” says Maurizio Poli, Professor of Quantitative Methods and Director Global Executive MBA at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy.
He added by stating that, taking into account the pervasive impact of digital on the financial services industry, it is clear that getting data management and analytics right will create significant competitive advantage for companies. Poli emphasizes that, technology is only one of core tools to carve success in the year ahead.
“Technology has been a change agent. Traditionally, the CIO was responsible for technology and internal infrastructure. Now we need different approach. We require people to manage technology not only to address internal infrastructure but also to handle and use data. Technology can be a tool to link your internal data (i.e., ERP or SAP system) with external data and analyze it for devising strategies for improving business performances,” Poli said.
He explained that, technology can help collect and analysis data in real-time, thus fasten the decision making process of the company. “So, technology will be the game changer for companies,” he said.
Harnessing data’s competitive capabilities goes beyond technological investments. High-growth companies are more likely to increase spending in areas such as change management and personnel and skills.
In both of these areas, 24% of high-growth companies plan to increase their spend by at least 20% over the next two years, compared to just 7% of low-growth companies.
Companies previously focused most analytics efforts on finance, though marketing is now identified as the function where significant improvements in data-driven business insight will be seen next. The most advanced analytics functions at high-growth companies are spread across sales, finance and marketing, while the finance function at other firms has dominated, the expert claimed.
While, admitting the top two obstacles for companies in maximizing their data use are concern over regulatory issues and data privacy restrictions, Poli said, “People say they are concerned about privacy, but millions use social networking sites to communicate, update, etc. their personal information.”
“With the number of social media users increasing at a rapid pace due to rise in digitalization, this is an unavoidable problem. Social media companies are realising it and are taking steps to guard against the misuse of the personal data on their websites. But, this is a complex issue with no clear-cut solution in site right now,” the Italian academician said.
According to Poli, Data is really the way to check, describe and analyse the situation. Many a times, managers or entrepreneurs take decision without analysing the data, which can prove to be wrong. Especially, in the present uncertain market conditions, managers have to dissect and analyze data to take a right decision, otherwise it could be disastrous for the company.
According to a recent survey conducted in United States and Europe, more than a quarter of high-growth companies — those achieving Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) growth of 15% or more in each of the last two years — described themselves as resourceful at extracting useful insights from data that improves overall competitiveness and performance