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Corporate Analytics 101: Understanding Basic Data

On Sep 8, 2017

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Big data analytics is changing the way business is done across every industry. Companies of any size can benefit from applying analytics, but one can make a strong argument that the bigger a company is, the more they need to use analytics to function well in the modern business world. Today we’ll going to discuss why corporate analytics is so valuable and why today’s companies ignore the implications of this emerging discipline at their own peril.

Corporate Analytics Explained

Corporate analytics is business analytics applied in a corporate setting. Every business wants to lower their expenses, eliminate inefficiencies and waste, improve performance and learn more about their customers. But the larger a company becomes and the more people it employs, the more valuable embracing business analytics becomes. While even the smallest Mom n’ Pop business on Main Street can probably benefit from analytics and data visualization, it is in corporate analytics that that one can begin to see what this technology is really capable of.

Think about how many more quantifiable, measurable things a major corporation must track and be mindful of. They have to track employee payroll and benefits just like any other business, but they also may have multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, legal teams on the payroll, huge IT infrastructure and skilled professionals to oversee it— not to mention boards of directors and shareholders to answer to. All of these stakeholders need real data to understand how the company is doing to understand where resources are being used most effectively and where improvements can be made. Analytics technology allows corporate decision-makers to zero in on levels of detail never before possible, and address problems they not have even been aware of.

Corporate analytics should always applied toward a goal that is measurable and in alignment with company strategy. In fact, when used properly, analytics can actually help shape corporate strategy and lead to better decision-making across all levels of the company.

Case Study: Corporate Analytics Revolutionizes Shipping

Let’s look at an example from UPS. This world-renowned logistics company delivers around 20 million packages per day, and employs hundreds of thousands of drivers around the world. When you’re dealing with those kind of numbers, even small differences like driving an extra mile or two per day can add up very quickly. They wanted to analyze the minutiae of their operations to see where they could improve service and save money at the same time.

UPS decided to put corporate analytics technology to work for them by launching their On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) program to help their drivers find the most efficient ways to deliver their packages along their routes. As part of the program, UPS installed sensors in their trucks to record metrics like idle time and miles driven, as well as GPS devices to guide the drivers and record their routes.

By analyzing the data generated by all these devices, UPS was able to find more efficient delivery routes, and reduce driver engine idling time by an average of 10 minutes. That might not sound that impressive, but when you start to crunch the numbers, the results are truly astounding.

UPS had previously determined that if they could shave only 1 mile off each driver’s route per day, it would save the company $50 million dollars per year. ORION was first launched in 2008, and by 2016, it was reducing the number of miles driven per day by 6 to 8 miles on average. This translated into a savings of between $300-400 million per year, and reduced carbon emissions by 100,000 metric tons! (Source)

In today’s business world, companies that neglect the power of corporate analytics will get left behind. Those that invest in building a culture of data-driven decision-making and embrace powerful corporate analytics technology will get the most out of their Business Intelligence. There’s no doubt that we are living in a transitionary period where big data is changing the way our whole economy works.

Yet despite all this evidence, most companies still aren’t taking advantage of the power of analytics.

What does this mean for you? There’s still time to get an early lead in the corporate analytics revolution.

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SMA Marketing Team

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