(Time to read this Blog article is about 60 seconds)

One of the hot topics in business today is ‘analytics’, which simply means ‘the systematic analysis of data or statistics to predict customer behaviour, or to make better business decisions’.  Just mentioning ‘analytics’ around the water cooler these days will make you sound smart.

I’ve just read an article on all the future uses of predictive analytics to improve marketing the customer experience and operational efficiency.  But having information or insight alone will not make you a better or more successful business.  You must also have the desire and commitment to use that data effectively and ethically.

For example, airlines use an analysis of typical customer no-show rates to over-book flights in order to optimize revenue.  But, if they don’t also have a clear and humane policy about what to do when everyone does show up, including the ones who were promised a seat that doesn’t exist, they will suffer the collective wrath of media and consumers, as we saw earlier this year when an elderly gentleman was forcibly dragged off a flight in the USA while other passengers recorded the brutality on their smart phones.

For years, long before ‘analytics’ was even a word, airlines have known better than any other industry in the world exactly how many customers they would have every hour of every day, and exactly what those customers would want…because their customers bought tickets to a specific destination weeks before.  But, even though they have that info, most airlines fail to staff and equip themselves to provide a wonderful customer experience.  

Every other business would give their right arm to have that kind of info but airlines who actually have it, choose not to use it effectively to delight customers.  So, having the numbers alone is not the solution.  We must also have the desire, commitment and integrity to use those numbers to serve and to succeed. 

How will you ensure that you have the data that you need to serve wonderfully and proactively and to make sound business decisions and what will you do to create clear commitments to use that data effectively and ethically?

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