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February - 2010 - issue > CEO Spotlight
Firms-don-competitive-streak-via-leveraging-on-data
Dhiraj C Rajaram
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
As the world today becomes increasingly data-centric, organizations are realizing the need for intelligent, data-driven decision making instead of their older gut-based methods. With this need, however comes a whole new set of challenges. Institutionalizing analytics needs a cross-functional skill-set of applied mathematics, technology and knowledge of the business domain. Unfortunately, such talent is hard to find in the US and companies are leveraging talent available in geographies such as India and China by setting up captive centers or by outsourcing to analytics vendors in these regions.

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it is important for companies to retain their high lifetime value customers, optimize their marketing spend, price their products accurately and continuously measure and monitor their performance. All these call for the apt use of analytics. Understanding and analyzing business processes and data, and proper communication of the analysis and insights generated is core to analytics.

Analytics cannot be performed as an afterthought, and requires companies to invest in collection of data. You cannot analyze what you do not collect; therefore it is critical to obtain rich and relevant data. For example, e-commerce systems can collect attributes about user behavior, profiles, browsing and purchase patterns.

The importance of analytics increases as the world becomes more data-centric. We have different types of data available today, ranging from ERP systems, legacy systems, online data, social media and mobile data. Analytics helps companies understand markets better, easily experiment with new ideas, stay competitive, and get better returns on their investments. In simple words, analytics helps companies make better decisions.

Dhiraj C Rajaram, Founder & CEO of Mu Sigma. Mu Sigma is a Chicago based analytics outsourcing firm. The company’s impressive client list includes the world’s largest retailer, the world’s largest software company, world’s largest advertising agency, large pharma companies.
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