June 2013 - Best of the West Newsletter
"Big data" is a big buzzword in business today - and a big deal.
Date : June 26, 2013
We find ourselves talking about big data every day, in the context of much of the work we do and in how we solve problems for our clients.

Dear Clients and Friends,

“Big data” is a big buzzword in business today—and a big deal. Why? Because for many companies, it represents both a significant opportunity and a critical challenge.

We find ourselves talking about big data every day, in the context of much of the work we do and in how we solve problems for our clients. It’s that prevalent. In the video portion of this newsletter, found below, Kevin McCarty and I offer some thoughts about the big data conundrum, and how important it is for organizations to use data to make effective decisions and improve business performance.

In short, this is a subject that is as perplexing as it is prevalent, and we are happy to discuss any questions or share any observations that would be helpful to you.

We’ve also included a few other articles, some on related topics, that we believe you will find interesting and relevant:

  • Curious about the myth of the data scientist? West Monroe takes a first-hand look at the evolution of data science, and how lessons learned 25 years ago in the “Alaska Room” can be applied to help build an effective approach to organizing analytics resources for today’s needs.
  • Want to know where customer loyalty is headed? Greg Poffenroth examines why points and rewards are no longer at the center of building customer loyalty, and sheds light on how successful organizations are approaching their customer experience.
  • Is your organization succumbing to one of the three pitfalls to designing effective corporate plans? Perry Buffett and Josh Sandstrom highlight some key barriers that prevent organizations from achieving strategic priorities – and how to avoid them.
  • Do you know how much it costs to serve your customers? Tom Racciatti explains that many organizations can’t accurately determine customer value during M&A because they don’t understand how much it costs to serve customers – illustrated through a case study example. 


As market conditions shift and customer landscapes change, we hope you find our insights beneficial in helping navigate uncertain territory.

I want to extend my gratitude to all those clients and friends we’ve worked with during this first half of 2013, and wish everyone a safe and wonderful summer!

Dean

Pre-deal diligence for mergers and acquisitions typically overlooks cost to serve; however, this should be a key consideration during this process as it often highlights unlocked value in a company’s operations—usually in the form of underpricing or over-servicing customers.
In order to understand what a data scientist is, we must first define data science.  While there is some debate, at its core data science involves the instrumentation, collection, preparation, management, and analysis of data.
Companies that get past the initial hurdle of understanding where they need to be often find themselves at a loss for how to get there.
It’s a simple fact that more brands are competing for the customers you want to keep. Experiences that differentiated a brand as “best in class” yesterday are already antiquated and prove to be leading indicators of a brand on decline.
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