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How to make change management happen in the most effective way

Many things can put your business at risk, including changes to your organisation, people or technology. The current pandemic has put many businesses under unprecedented pressure, and some even teetering on the brink of survival. Crises like this quickly turn change...

Future-ready part 2: Diversity – an essential ingredient for a future-ready organisation

In his seminal 1937 essay, “The nature of the firm,” the economist and eventual Nobel laureate Ronald Coase argued that corporations exist to avoid the transaction costs of the free market. Yet with transaction costs plummeting (spurred by rising connectivity)...

Future-ready part 1: What does a future-ready business look like in the new normal?

The pressure to change had been building for years. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, senior executives routinely worried that their organisations were too slow, too siloed, too bogged down in complicated matrix structures, too bureaucratic. What many leaders feared,...

Organisation Design: Restructuring or Reshuffling to enable Strategy

Customer expectations are not just changing; they are exceeding the ability of a business to deliver on time. They are looking for alternatives, with more emphasis on experience and convenience. To keep up, companies are evolving their offering to meet the...

How to fill the gap between Strategy and Execution

Organisations are great at setting their strategy and identifying their goals, but they fall short when it comes to their operating model review and redesign, the key component that enables the strategy and drives the achievement of goals. Operating models consist of...

Culture PART 2: The role of leaders in a culture shift

In the previous article in this series we examined the effect of COVID-19 on an organisation’s culture. Now, we turn the focus onto the role of leadership and technology in leveraging culture. When an organisation decides to change its culture – be it planned or...

Culture PART 1: Did COVID-19 signal the end for hierarchical organisations?

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, human capital is defined as: “the knowledge, skills, competencies and other attributes embodied in individuals or groups of individuals acquired during their life and used to produce goods,...

Meet MAC’s Executives: Karina Jardim, Senior Executive

“Exceptionally talented consultant” “An absolute pleasure to work with” “Driven by a desire to see people grow” If you know Karina Jardim, you know that these phrases used to describe Karina ring undoubtedly true. She is a name that is valued to every MACer, whether...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Embracing the Workforce Ecosystem (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we looked at how the fears of technological innovation are resulting in an unproductive resistance toward modernisation, even as it gains extraordinary pace in 2021. We also delved into the importance of a growth mindset in allowing...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Overcoming the Fear of AI (part 1)

“What if artificial intelligence takes over my job? What if I become redundant?” Every one of us has experienced technology encroaching on our lives, more and more so with each year that passes. It appears that technological innovation is a certainty that is only...



Mac Consulting

The value of analytics in achieving competitive advantage

The value of analytics in achieving competitive advantage

Data – it is more than just a buzzword. Today, gathering data to help you better understand your customers and business is relatively easy. In fact, it has become so easy that there’s the danger of having too much data to deal with. Even small start-ups generate data. Any business with a website, a social media presence, and that accepts electronic payments of any kind is collecting data about customers, user habits, web traffic, demographics, and more. All that data has potential if you can learn to leverage it correctly, and that is where analytics comes in.

Most companies have a relatively basic understanding of what ‘business analytics’ is, let alone how it creates value. Analytics is a multi-disciplinary activity: the value comes not from the activity but from the execution. Often, this crosses a variety of departments within an organisation – few analytics groups have responsibility for both the insight creation and the execution of that insight. As a result of this, selling the value of analytics is not just a goal; it’s a necessary criterion for success.

The intersection of quality data and insight, coupled with the recognition that analytics can be an asset, will continue to have serious reverberations in the business world. Being smarter has always meant being successful; as far back as the 19th century, analytics was already generating competitive advantage.

The value of analytics lies in its ability to deliver better outcomes, yet success requires more than just knowledge of statistics or ways of dealing with ‘big data.’ Execution is essential, but without a plan and follow-through, little happens. Success also requires an understanding of how analytics translates into competitive advantage.

This competitive advantage comes from capitalising on uniqueness. Every organisation is different, and every organisation has the potential to exploit that exact uniqueness in a way that no one else can match. Doing this means taking advantage of their single biggest resource: their data.

This tidal wave of information is a real challenge at every level in society. On a personal level, we struggle to keep on top of everything going on around us. Alvin Toffler coined the term “future shock” as early as 1970 to describe the overwhelming and disorienting impact from information overload. At a professional level, where we once struggled with a dearth of information, we now struggle to pick which pieces of information are valuable out of all the measures at our fingertips. Regardless of where you start, this ever-increasing amount of information has changed the way we view the world, the way we live and the way we do business.

Dealing with this data deluge requires being smarter. It requires developing the ability to selectively process information based on value, not sequence. It requires, more than anything else, the realisation that brute-force and manual effort are, in the long run, an impossible solution. Quite simply, it requires the effective application of analytics.

The people who know how to manage this data deluge are our future. Being able to translate massive amounts of data into real insight is competitive advantage distilled. Nothing else offers an equivalent level of agility, productivity improvement or renewable value. Being ‘smarter’ than your competitors isn’t just a hyperbole, it’s a real description of how substantial the impact of applied analytics can be.

To get good answers through the slew of data, however, you have to start with good questions. The analytics are only actionable if you know what you are looking for, and that means starting with a question. The better the questions, the more valuable the answers. As Douglas Adams wrote, “once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.”

Possibly the best-guarded secret in business analytics is that, in practice, its success comes down not only to organisational culture, but also to the ability of managers to successfully sell the value of analytics. At MAC Consulting we assist our clients with the capacity to think more strategically and work on their business. Through MAC Consulting, you too can leverage modern data collection and analysis tools to get actionable and valuable information about your customers and your business.

Ultimately, if you don’t, your competitors will.

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