This week, 156 of the world’s top golf talent compete in the 122nd United States Open Championship. Like many of the world’s most popular broadcasted sports, data analytics is front-and-center for viewers of the tournament. Have you made data analytics front-and-center for your business yet?
Taking place in Brookline, Massachusetts at The Country Club golf course, the annual tournament is one of the four major golf events and is as stern of a test of golf as there is in the game. Players compete for 4 days across 72 holes, each hoping to find himself with the lowest score on the last day when the final records are tallied.
Each year, viewers following the U.S. Open on TV and mobile devices see an increasing number of statistics and unique data insights on each of the world-famous players throughout the tournament. Scrolling across the screen, networks broadcast stats on distance, accuracy, iron play and short game. It’s fascinating how each facet of a player’s golf game can be digitally tracked and compared, and especially improved upon by the players themselves.
Even more amazing: this one tournament covers just a small subset of all the data that goes into the game of golf. Golf has millions of data points behind it. Independent golf statistics and information service, GOLFstats, alone boasts over 2.4 million database records for all major tournaments in the U.S., Canada and Europe. For example, the player record for Jack Nicklaus, widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time, encompasses every single tournament he’s played, each swing from driving distance to short game – even his cash winnings.
Like golfers, independent agents and brokers have a vast amount of data to draw upon and analyze to improve their business game, both long and short. But how can you use all this information to gain a deeper understanding of your business? A robust data analytics solution can transform the raw data of your business activity into visual insights allowing you to more efficiently understand how your business is playing “the game” and the strategies needed to improve.
Move Beyond Simple Reporting
We often hear feedback from agents about being able to see their data but not being able to unlock it for insights. A basic report, created in Excel for example, is defined and static – offering only a point-in-time snapshot of one or a few business metrics. In contrast, a premium data analytics solution is more advanced in how it analyzes real-time data and often delivers multiple levels of analysis via highly graphical, interactive dashboards. Because data analytics solutions are automated and utilize real-time information, users are empowered to make faster, more insightful decisions across many aspects of a business – without spending countless hours manually pulling reports.
Like knowing what club to pull from your bag to reach the green, having the right data available at the right moment can make all the difference in reaching your business objectives.
5 Steps for Data Analytics Success
Becoming a data-powered business requires solid planning, resource allocation and effective change management. With a clear plan and the right tools in place, you can use your data to turn information into actionable insights that drive your business forward.
Here are 5 steps to better understand your game, improve your swing and get one step closer to a business performance “hole-in-one.”
Define the Business Value
Start your data analytics project by determining what problem you are trying to solve or what goal you are trying to achieve. Focus on opportunities with the lowest cost for the highest return.
Create Your Data Ecosystem
Because there are multiple sources for data, your agency needs to implement the technology and methodology to build a data architecture that is secure, fosters collaboration, and can easily scale as business demands grow. This is known as the data ecosystem, data warehouse, or data lake. When it comes to data, always remember that garbage in is garbage out. Creating a culture of data quality is critical in fully realizing a healthy and productive data ecosystem.
Outline Your Insights
Define what key performance indicators your organization is trying to better understand, determine the level of frequency that you want your business reviewing the data and consider if there are industry benchmarks – both current and historical – that you would like to analyze your data against.
Integrate Decision Workflows
Incorporate data analytics review and analysis in your decision-making process. Use it to design more effective work practices, drive accountability within your agency, improve transparency and align agency resources through increased awareness of performance.
Successful adoption requires employees to accept and trust the data analytics tools, understand how they work, and use them consistently. Keep your employees productive by involving them in as much of the process as possible as they will be a key part in reaching long-term performance goals
Thrive in the Age of Data
Understanding your data gives you a competitive advantage into today’s digital market, as well as the opportunity to grow your business. While our handicaps may never be as good as the golf pros at the U.S. Open, we can at least analyze our performance data in many of the same ways and develop actionable insights for future success.
For more insights on how to achieve data analytics success, download the Data Analytics: Turning Information into Insights white paper.