October 27, 2015

Is real-time analytics changing the analytics game?

As someone coming from professional football to business, I constantly see similarities between these two highly competitive landscapes. Unfortunately, these worlds too rarely take a peak over the fence to see what one another is doing. 

Traditionally, football teams have tried to build their success by using one of the following strategies:

  • Sign a couple superstars that will get everyone's attention
  • Build a solid gameplan for the season based on your strengths
  • Make the most of the press conferences to highlight your confidence in your team and your progress
  • Try to get enough points in one season to reach targets, win awards or at least stay in the top league for the next period

Does this also resemble your marketing department?

Marketing for the big guys has been a numbers game for quite a while. Savvy retailers like Amazon, eBay and Costco have invested a hefty sum of money for gathering and analysing data to provide a personalised experience. Personalisation and real-time analytics are, however, not only for the giants. These tools can help all modern organisations.

Today in football, Leicester is a great example of a tiny club fighting against the multimillion giants and bringing them down one by one. And their managers are sitting on the bench with their laptops. The changes made during the game are based on real-time analytics and not on rudimentary gut feelings.

Analytics can truly make your every day business your every day business. For example, your marketing conversion can be updated every day. Following the success of your campaigns on a weekly or monthly basis is simply inadequate today.

In my days as a professional footballer back in the early 2000s, all the analytics we had came from YLE text-tv, the analytics source for all the other teams as well. Now some teams have laptops on the bench! And not only in the top leagues, but also here in Finland.

Things have not changed that much, however, in marketing. The same weekly and monthly procedures that were in place some five years ago are still there today. Reports , sent as email attachments are the norm, just like the traditional post-game pint for the Finnish “professional" football players. In marketing, real-time analytics and dashboards are as rare as are Finnish sports superstars. As an organisation, it is still possible to turn a blind eye towards real-time analytics, but at the same time you are not looking forward, like your competitors with machine-learning capabilities and offline data integrations. What you as a member of an organisation should ask yourself is, “How would real-time analytics affect your daily performance?"

New approaches are available to everyone; it is not a matter of money. But which organisations and coaches understand what it takes to defeattoday's competition? In marketing, it’s not just about real-time bidding or marketing automation. It’s about altering your way of working and building onavailable information. In football, it’s basically about the same thing. In both, analysing your performance and making appropriate adjustments is vital. And that is an area in which even the best coaches and companies need help from professionals who know what they are doing.

Read more: Customer Experience Management and Tieto Retail Experience

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