module3studyguide - Exam 1 Vocab Study Guide Analytical...

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Targets: Every business we know can benefit from becoming more analytical across the board- in how it understands its customers, performs its operations and makes its decisions. Every company needs to target its analytical efforts where they will do the most good, because resources, especially talent, are always constrained. o For companies embarking on the analytical journey, a specific business problem may be a good initial target. o As analytical experience and success grow, targets become broader and more strategic: to optimize key business processes over time, and to innovate and operate in ways that differentiate the business in the eyes and experience of its customers. o Companies should be targeting their analytical investments at their distinctive capabilities. These are the capabilities and integrated business processes that serve customers in ways that are differentiated from competitors and that create an organization’s formula for business success and therefore offer the richest targets. o A good target is so important to the business, so full of opportunity, that it engages top management commitment and creates momentum. It focuses on generating insight rather than merely information. o Both ambitious and approachable- ambitious in that it impacts the business, and approachable in that it has access to the resources and capabilities to succeed. The organization’s strategic plan, which is all about finding opportunities for business growth, innovation, differentiation, and marketplace impact, seems like a logical place to look for target opportunities. o It may indicate what business domain-customer service, product customization, emerging market-it is important, but not what activities in that domain to target with analytics. o Most businesses also start looking for new ideas and practices by surveying what’s happening elsewhere in their industries. o Look across an industry-and scrutinize the activities of your competitors-on a regular basis. It keeps you alert and informed about what you must do to keep pace not only with the competition but also with changing and rising customer expectation. o Your industry will tell you what it takes to maintain parity of performance, but you must be more creative to discover opportunities for differentiation. o Two additional approaches to finding analytical opportunities: Big-picture thinking about the shape of your business and the trends affecting it: demographic skills, economic trends, and changes in what customers want. This involves assessing where performance can improve and what factors drive performance. It also entails exploring your hunches about the business, what makes it tick, and where the next breakthrough may await.
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