Data has become the new strategic asset. Companies are using data-driven decision-making as an increasingly critical competitive differentiator. CEOs have begun to use big data to optimize strategic thinking, guide superior execution, and drive value creation across industries.
Here are topics the webinar covers:
The difficulties that come with data
How CEOs can best leverage their company data
How platform solutions transform company decision making
Hilary Good afternoon, wherever you’re calling from, welcome to ChiefExecutive.net’s webinar series and today’s topic is the Data Dilemma, how CEOs can maximize the value of data as a strategic asset. And today’s session is brought to you by Domo Inc., a new form of business intelligence.
Hi my name’s Hilary and I’ll be your webinar host today, we’ve got a lot to cover in this webinar and we value your time. So let me go over some quick tips using the webinar platform. Now this is an interactive session today so at any time when you want to ask a question go into the question area, type in your question, hit send and I’ll read those aloud for you. Also if you’d like to download the presentation materials from today’s session, you can go into the chat area and there’s a link there that you can click and download the presentation materials. And if this panel’s a little bit distracting just go to the upper left hand corner of it, click the double arrow key and that will minimize your panel, and then later if you have a question you can click it again and it will reappear. And if you have any other questions you can write directly to me, your webinar host, in the chat area.
And now I’d like to introduce today’s speakers. With us today is Narendra Mulani, the Managing Director of Accenture Analytics and he’s responsible for driving Accenture’s strategic agenda for growth across all aspects of Accenture Analytics’ business. He leads an integrated community of over twelve thousand management consulting, technology and outsourcing people who are serving customers across industries around the globe. Also joining us is Heather Zynczak, CMO at Domo. Heather has focused her career on bringing value to business through technology and she’s held executive marketing and product management positions at some of the world’s largest enterprise technology companies. And spending the last six years at FAP where most recently served as Global Vice President of marketing and in that role she was responsible for marketing FAP’s business suite of products representing more than three billion in annual revenue. So with that said, I’d first like to turn the session over to Narendra, welcome.
NARENDRA: Thank you and I’ll just quickly set up here.
NARENDRA: Thank you, thank you all and thanks for listening in. I’m going to spend the next 30 minutes talking to the topic at hand and I look forward to your questions as we go along. I was asked to speak today of how you as CEOs can maximize the value of the data that you have and one of the major trends in analytics today that you can take advantage of. So, I’m first going to level set a bit on what has created the opportunity for us today to allow our organizations to be much more data driven, the value that comes out of it and then point out four or five things that you as CEOs can do to take advantage of this and drive your organizations to be much more better than they are today.
Let’s start with some level set on what all of us know and hear every day, whether you are you know a sports band, you’re following the elections, which is probably the most poor driven elections we’ve seen to date, or you’re a user or you have children who are users of social media. The one thing you know is that we are now drowning in data right. And this could either be a real challenge or an opportunity. The amount of data that corporations have to deal with now when you look at what’s available externally that’s relevant to your organization versus traditionally enterprise driven data which we normally create through our ERP systems and manufacturing systems etc. is we’re looking at almost a ten to the power of three, a thousand times more information coming at us in raw form than we’ve had before. And most of that, more and more of that data is unstructured right. Structured data would be like your billing materials, your master data, your over management data etc. Unstructured data is either like social media data but there’s much more than social media data that comes at us every day. You could think of data from GPS devices that are in your trucks, you can think of data with the sensors in your factories that are manufactured, measuring manufacturing speed or packaging speed or line speed. If you have a field force with mobile devices, they are all generating data that could be extremely valuable to you if it’s integrated in the right fashion.
The social media part is not to be understated. The social networks themselves are turning into extremely rich sources of information for us, not only to drive interactions with consumers and measure sentiment, but also to drive reactions to our new product launches, understanding where trends are going so that we as companies and organizations can react to those social as well as product trends and make sure that we were doing the right thing. So, fundamentally as a society, we are generating much more data today in everything we do than we ever did before.
If that’s all that happened not much would have changed because until now, managing all this information has been extremely expensive. Well one of the fundamental things we are experiencing right now in conjunction with this exposure of data is that we, being America, have innovated tremendously on how we can manage that information. Lower storage costs are dramatically lower today than they were a decade ago through cloud based solutions as well as standard generic solutions and better analytic tools are leading to an ability to be able to manage this data. Ten years ago managing data was expensive. If you think about, the storage was expensive as well as most of the data management schools were SQL driven tools, Oracle driven tools or other major data based company driven tools. And the way the data base providers invested in those tools was to make them highly productive for an individual programmer or analyst user, but the costs were expensive.
What’s changed now is that the storage costs have dropped dramatically and there’s a whole new set of innovative tools and maturing technologies around business intelligence, around advanced analytics and around data monitoring that are much more acceptable; either they’re available as software as a service, or they’re in the common license format so that you could get them as open source software. But there’s normally a combination of new softwares of service, open source, and cloud based solutions that fundamentally allow you to access this data and analyze it at a cost structure that’s dramatically lower than the one we’ve seen before.
That’s all good and it’s great to have all this data but what matters is the outcomes that you get out of these insights. So the challenge over here is getting those data driven insights into your key decisions and prophecies. We have a couple of quotes here from the health industry, which is you know is going through dramatic change both due to policy as well as economics. And one of the biggest users of information today are the health industries, whether you are a hospital provider, a health management organization or you’re an insurance company. Being able to translate that data into better decision making and turning it into outcomes is essential for their future success. I think I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning, it was this morning or yesterday morning I forget which, on which they talked about how Medicare and Medicaid are now going to reward providers, hospitals, HMO’s etc. based on the satisfaction of their patients. They’re going to have stars rating; it’s going to be data driven. And depending on whether you get anywhere from a five star to a three star, you as a hospital or a provider are going to get a very different type of reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, fundamentally changing the relationship and the outcomes for organizations through data. So, why does it matter to you as a CEO, regardless of whether you’re in the health business or not? The real opportunity now is to embed these insights into the way you operate today so that you can drive a much better outcome on a day to day basis in your transactions. We see this at Accenture, where we have some of our clients in utilities deploying the data from smart meters, as well as social media, into how they deploy their field force and make customer service calls. We also see wireless and communication companies using information from social media, as well as the information that their mobile phones we as customers generate, to be able to come up with targeted offers to each of their consumers both to upsell them as well as to retain them. And of course the banks who have become extremely consumer conscious over the last few years, using this information much more to target specific portfolio and wealth management tools too.
My favorite example is not in this area at all, it has to do with just the tremendous effect that data has now on all the sports we watch. Whether you’re a baseball fan or a football fan you know that the more data driven the sports team is, the better results they’re driving for every salary, every dollar they put in there. So you as a CEO play a critical role and it’s always good to have Dogbert to make sure that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But leaders need to set an example and that’s the message here. I think Dogbert is one of the best users of sarcasm to make a point And we as leaders, we as CEO’s clearly need to say the message on making sure that our organizations are data driven right.
So that’s what we do. All of you have heard of Edwards Deming, he’s attributed in saying ‘In God we trust, all others must bring data.’ And through his data driven revolution, his quality revolution, he revolutionized Japanese manufacturing and US auto manufacturing. His disciples today continue to drive that type of vision. So organizations don’t become analytic competitors overnight right, but they can and it’s an ongoing commitment that requires a fullhearted involvement from the CEO down. In my role in, at Accenture, apart from being the Analytics Lead, I have had the privilege of working with many clients over the years in consumer goods, in consumer technology etc. and wherever I’ve seen the organization get more analytic and data driven it always starts at the top. And you as CEO’s can make sure that you drive concrete actions and ask for accountability from most members of your top team to be able to drive your organization, to take advantage of this data deluge and turn it into a competitive advantage for you on a day to day basis.
And I’d like to note four things that we have seen consistently, four key factors that are under your limit that you can do. The first one of course is to lead by example as shown in this slide. It’s important for you to make a personal commitment to data driven decisions and ask the fundamental questions of your team members as to whether they think something’s right or they know something’s right and] if they know that it’s right, what data have they used to drive that type of decisiont.
So below that there’s going to have to be some real reskilling for your organization to be successful because once you ask your team members for data driven decisions and data driven outcomes, they’re going to be looking into the organization to make sure that in this era of big data they have the right support and the right skills. And there’s some work to do. It’s okay whether you’re a 20 person organization or a 100 thousand person organization right, the knowledge of the type of skills you need to succeed in the future is going to be extremely important. And when we look at what are the necessary skills, we look at three core skills that come out in being analytical. The first is just to have an approach on experimentation. When a problem’s given to you, you have individuals in the organization who are very comfortable saying “Let me test two alternatives, measure which alternative leads to better results so that we can make sure that we are using the best or most optimal path” this core ability to experiment is something that you want to build into your organization.
You’ve got to combine that with media literacy and mathematical reasoning, the approach to experimentation of trying something and looking at alternatives combined with some core ability to understand data and to be able to reason mathematically makes you a very data literate organization overnight. You can see this at scale and you can see it in small organizations. I’ve given you a simple scale example which is easy to translate into any of our lives. It is that when you log onto eBay right, depending on when you log on, no two individuals see the same page, eBay is always experimenting with the certain sub set of those who log on by giving them fundamentally different offers than everybody else. And the reason they do that is to continue to learn on 5 or 10% of everybody that’s online as to whether there’s a better offer set that they can make than the one that they’re using for the other 90%. This continuous experimentation allows them to make sure that they’re maximizing sales revenue through their offers. And it’s very possible for all of us to do that, whether it’s in the way we service our customers, the way we merchandise our product, the way we deploy our field sales force, we can make sure that we have that thinking around experimentation in there.
However, there are some challenges and there are no easy fixes. The demand for analytic talent is much higher than the supply. My pragmatic council is that there are hidden analysts in all organization, even at Accenture. When I went up setting up the analytics team at Accenture we definitely went out to look for talent, but there were a tremendous amount of individuals within the firm that always were looking to use their analytic capabilities and you’ll find the same. Your asking the right questions and your support for this type of skill within the organization will bring that talent out. There is a gap, but there’s much we can do to fill it ourselves.
The third point is to rethink your relationships with partners or organizations right. And as I said, more and more of our data is external and all of us sit in a value chain. So if you really want to make sure that you’re accessing that external data for your use, then data is probably shared in somewhere, across a partner, a set of partner organizations, whether it’s your distributors, your suppliers, your go-to-market partners, or someone who’s selling your stuff on line, whatever it is, and I give some examples over here right. You know data becomes part of the currency for the relationship you have and it could strengthen both your product line, but honestly it could strengthen that relationship and I give a few examples here.
Best Buy and Toshiba combined their shopper insights to come up with a child-centric laptop called the Satellite L635. So Best Buy understood that there was a gap for children’s specific laptops, they share their insight from their focus groups and their research with Toshiba, jointly developed this, and marketed it through the Best Buy channel: big advantage.
I think the most innovative one, the one that I’m personally in awe of is American Express and Amazon. And for those of you who are either Amex users or Amazon users you’re probably aware that you can now shop with American Express membership award points on Amazon and you can connect your Amazon account to your Amex account. But if you give that some thought the moment you do that, you personally could have a richer shopping experience because you would get better recommendations on both sides and you get flexibility on how to use your award points but what it did for Amex is not only allow Amex to know how you shop using the card, but how you shop on Amazon. And the extent or the market basket that you would be shopping in and what percent of that market basket Amex had. Similarly for Amazon they get to see what your shopping pattern is, not only in categories that Amazon carries but all categories. So that partnership has made both of them much richer in being able to service you as well as grow their own business.
And there’s a similar example here from Dell where they have in IdeasStorm Website, which their customers and partners can post ideas on or they look for new ideas on and they used it to come up with new low-end solutions like a Linux based computer to be able to capitalize on the market opportunity. I think the message over here is, you’re not alone in this, you are part of some value chain and that value chain probably has synergistic opportunities for you to leverage your data to be able to create more value for yourself.
The fourth and last message I leave you with as a CEO is that all your data has some value on it, and I give some examples here that we can all be comfortable with whether it’s Acxiom, Experian if you’re a businessman you’re using their data, if you’re a bank or you’re using Fair Isaac data to restore your potential customers or mortgage clients. And on the right, I give some retail examples right. Regardless of where you are, whether you’re a retailer, you’re a manufacturer, you’re a heavy equipment dealer, part of the caterpillar return to your network, you have information on how your customers purchase, how they use your product, how they use the products that you represent. And there is a monetary value to that information. So as a CEO it’s really worth asking, what are the opportunities for me as an organization, for us as an organization, to monetize the value of the data. Because when you ask that question you’re going to make sure that you tap all the inherent value in that data and be able to turn it into better service for your customers or an ability to acquire more customers or retain them in a better fashion.
There’s a whole different part of this which is worth discussing one day on using that information for capital efficiency which we’re seeing more and more on the capital intensive side of our businesses. I’ll leave you with two last thoughts over here. There’s a lot of value here, but you’ve got to make sure that the value is being assessed the right way. The journey to becoming analytically proficient is not quick nor is it painless. I put this up, this is from a Yahoo site where the Yahoo site asks whether you should rent or buy a home and they only allow you to put a positive number in for your home appreciation. You know how valid that has been over the last five to seven years. But there are many challenges to data driven decision making, some of them having to do with how you frame the problem, some of them having to do with making bad assumptions, but you’ve got to make sure that as you drive your organization to be more data driven that they clearly understand how they make valid data driven results happen, rather than allow for biases to creep in in the way you want right.
And finally I’ll leave you with your most powerful weapon and that’s asking the question. The moment you start asking for more data driven decisions you’re going to find a cultural change happen, you’ll have to stick with it for a while but I think the rewards are tremendous. I’ve had the privilege of working with many organizations that have gone down this path and I think that they have been extremely satisfied with the resiliency it gives to them as an organization, the agility it gives to them and frankly the bottom line results on sales and profitability. So that’s the summary right now. I’ll turn it back to you. I think our friends at Domo will take it from here.
HILARY: Terrific, thank you. So I’m going to turn it over to Heather and let me get that on the screen for you.
HEATHER: Great, thank you. Hi this is Heather Zynczak from Domo and as Narendra just really highlighted in a very articulate way, there’s a lot of problems right now, the problem is real, so most of you are probably experiencing that your data lives in an ever increasing mess of spreadsheets, systems and applications. Now you can’t see the big picture, you can’t get information fast enough, you lack the data to make informed decisions. And this is exactly why Josh James, the CEO of Domo, started this company. Josh was CEO of a company called Omniture and when he was there one of his biggest complaint on a daily basis was that he couldn’t get the information he needed. He’ll tell you stories that you know he would have to go to a CFO and ask for the cash balance and it might take a day to get that information back. Or he had to go to the head of HR and ask for where are we with head counts, how many do we have on board, what’s the expenses related and it would take several days to pull the report and by the time he got the information that he’d asked for, he’d already made the decision without all the facts. So as a CEO, he wanted to bring this information to other CEO’s, he wanted to build a tool that CEO’s could use. In a way we jokingly say that the most powerful person in the organization, the CEO, sometimes is the least empowered in terms of the information they have access to at their fingertips.
So if we go to the next slide. So the truth is data can knock you out or deliver a knockout, it’s up to you, you decide and I love Ali so I had to put this slide in here, I think it’s great, but I think if I look at a couple of our customer examples here at Domo they really made the decision to overcome the challenges of data and use data to their advantage. And I’m going to give you one example because I think it’s a great example and a standard for us you know for us all to live up to.
But there was a relatively large software company that didn’t have a standard set of data so the marketing department spent a year putting together their OVT report, ‘one view of the truth’ and they pulled all this information from their marketing analytic tool like [inaudible 00.27.40] from their web analytics tool, sorry marketing automation tool like [inaudible 00.27.47] [JD1] their web analytics tool like Omniture or Google Analytic and their CRM system like a sales force or a [inaudible 00.27.54] [JD2] to really be able to track in one place 00:28:00 their campaign, how they were doing, how much money they were spending and you know what was it doing with pipeline, how many closed deals and even tracking all the way through to customer retention, maintenance, revenue and all the way through to upsell opportunities. So really tracking the full lifetime value of the customer from the time that the first interacted with that company.
So they have all this great information and it was in this ginormous spreadsheet and they kind of said, okay we send this out once a week, this is how they started in the sales back with Demo, they said, we send this out once a week but it’s too un-wielding, we can’t get insights from it, we don’t collaborate on it, the information is dated after a week. So now they use Domo to actually take all of that data and put it into a really great dashboard and to be able to see that information and collaborate on it and share and use it for discussions and use it to make decisions. I mean at first they just put it on top of their excel spreadsheet but now Domo actually goes in and connects to their systems and brings real time data from where it lives. And I think this is a standard that all CEOs and executive teams should emulate, you should have the data that you want in the format that you want and be able to share and discuss and use it across your organization.
That kind of takes me to our next slide, which is hopefully for this audience you know since this is the chief executive group. We have a lot of chief executives on the phone and I think chief executives deserve better. I think CEOs deserve better, I think you as the most powerful person in your organization should be empowered with the data that you need. So you know what standards should you say I’m going to accept nothing else? Well you should be able to see your entire organization and all of your data in one dashboard, so I would say 100% of our customers, literally 100%, I don’t think there’s any exception, just wanted certain pieces of data together to see in one place, that was kind of first hurdle for them. I think you also should expect that it should be real time and that you should be able to see it on any device. So we recently did a demo, a survey to a group of executives, we had about 1500 people respond and a big chunk of those were CEO’s, but they were all executive level so. And 90 plus percent of them said they don’t have access to the data they want. 90 plus percent of them said they want to be able to view it on their mobile phone or their iPad and they can’t.
So I think there should be the expectation that you should be able to view it on any device. I joke that I’m not sure our CEO at Domo knows how to log on to his PC because he spends, but he is addicted to his phone and his iPad. So anything that you want him to consume you have to put in those formats. And I think most CEO’s are that way. So you know Domo was built from the ground up for the mobile executive. Also I think you should expect to get better insights. You know, once your CEO is using data, and typically your executive team is going to want to use it too because they’re going to want to see what the CEO is using, and then the employees. So it’s kind of like Facebook. I’ll give a personal story.
My sister only got on Facebook a couple of years ago and the only reason that we forced her into the current century was because everybody else was on it. And I think your data should be like that too. You want to see it because everyone else is seeing it and talking about it and using it to make decisions. Once in you have everyone, you get the wisdom of the crowd, you get qualitative insights on your quantitative data. I guarantee that your team will have better insight on whether or not a project will be delivered on time than just what the data says alone. And then finally you should expect to make better decisions and to make them faster. So, for an example, I used our product internally and I send alerts when leads are below a certain level in our pipeline and I also send alerts when our cost per lead goes above a certain amount. So I’m actually able to manage by exception, I don’t have to go into the system 25 times a day and look at where we are because I get an alert letting me know when there’s trouble.
Also I think you can have natural alignment. I love the story that Josh always tells, our CEO, about how he commented on some data and some information in our system and a couple of developers who were following what he said saw it, and he talked about this app that he really liked on the iPad. And he never actually communicated to our development team that he liked this app and sure enough a month later he had a prototype on his desk for an app that was similar from a Domo perspective. So he was able to actually get natural alignment across the organization without dictating exactly what he wanted. And finally it allows you to have less meetings and manage by exception and I think everybody would love that.
So then it’s the next slide. If any of this resonates with you, you know if you’re looking for this kind of a tool then I really think you’re ready to Domo. So please contact our team to learn more, you can visit our website at domo.com or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even give us a call, thank you.
HILARY: Terrific, well thank you very much and now we’re going to open up for questions, so if you have a question just go into the question area, type it in and I’ll read it aloud for you. So Heather one has already come in for you that I’d like to ask you. “We currently get weekly reports and the data is good but I don’t feel like it’s game changing. How can I get more out of the data that we collect?”
HEATHER: So I think this comes back down to the tool that you’re using to disseminate information and you know I talked a little bit earlier about the data driven organization. I think that if you put a tool in place that people can easily collaborate and that people can share information and that people can find information and people can set alerts and people can see it real time and it’s super easy to consume and you have it with you everywhere, it’s in your pocket, on your mobile phone, then you’re just going to get different discussions and different knowledge across the company than you originally had with just an Excel report going out once a week. You’re fundamentally going to change your company, the organization’s culture and philosophy, it’s going to become more data driven but you’re not going to have that until you give them an easy to use tool that’s going to allow them to see information the way they want to see it and to collaborate and share on it.
HILARY: Great, thank you. And then how can this be used for HR talent development for example? Any thoughts on that from either?
HILARY: I think both of you maybe have an idea on it.
NARENDRA: Yeah sure. You know in terms of talent development with respect to, you can look at this opportunity in a couple of ways. Let’s take the example of where you have a field force right. It doesn’t take much to turn the information that you have about your field force into a great learning laboratory. Because you have all the demographics in your field force, you know how long they are, how experienced they’re being, but envision being able to take your field force and at the sales rep level as well as the region or district level, being able to relate some of the history, demographics, education, and training with current plans and then results. The more you start building that information up over time right, and using this solution, a great business intelligence solution like the one just discussed, you’re going to start getting insight as to what matters most, is it the training, are there specific approaches if you find that there’s a group of regional managers that are much more effective and you start looking for what you have in common. There are various things you could find out. What we, for example, found that the most effective field forces in a service business were those where we could extend the retention by a couple of years. And by looking at a lot of data around how employees were being managed and maintained we came to recognize that the most high performing employees were retained in teams where there was constant and direct feedback on how well they were doing or not doing. It was that simple. The same single highest predictor of retaining a high performing employee was feedback. We would have never found this out if we had not created that data base and used a business intelligence system like the one just discussed by Heather, to be able to come up with that type of insight. And that insight is worth real money to our clients. So I hope I’ve answered the question but you know you could have a whole bunch of applications around leadership development, around talent retention, around employee motivation, around better sales, and field force productivity that all come out of constructing similar data bases and analyzing it.
HEATHER: And just to add onto that we have, so Narendra’s 100% correct, and we have several, we have many customers that are actually using Domo from an HR perspective, so they’re bringing information from success factors and [inaudible 00.38.10] [JD3] and your IRP systems and they’re putting together dashboards that can track retention statistics, ratings and reviews, how employees are rated, as well as compensation as well as training that they’ve done and the HR department can look at it holistically and understand hiring needs, compensation issues, kind of company overall employee performance.
So we have a number of customers that are bringing that in to give them that insight in a dashboard. A bit of a different view on this which you actually can go and look at an example of this, is you can actually use a business intelligence tool to track specific programs. So we at Domo started a program back in May I think, where we did a social program and it was a manage word program across our entire company where every employee had to earn 30 badges and they were all social badges, so your Facebook badge, your Twitter badge etc., to really kind of expand the knowledge within our company and the talent they have to be even more social and we tracked that program using Domo. We had some really cool info graphics on you know our number of followers increasing and the number you know. It was a really interesting program and we used the dashboard from Domo to share kind of how our progress was on meeting that goal of every single employee obtaining all 30 badges. And because we could view that on a daily basis and the whole company saw that, it really motivated people to earn their badges. That and the fact that if we had a 95% completion we got, all of us got a free vacation day, so that helped a little bit, but the tool that tracked it and it was really fun, it kind of brought everybody together in the company.
HILARY: Terrific, alright. Well here’s another question that’s pretty interesting and I think both of you can touch on this. “I’ve risen to my role as a CEO through applying good judgment to decision making. Given all the potential issues with data accuracy and completeness, can data driven decision making really replace my experience and judgment?” Narendra would you like to begin with that?
NARENDRA: And of course no it cannot but what it can do is improve your experience and judgment. So this is not an either/or question but as you know, if you’ve risen to CEO you’ve risen to CEO through a lot of uncertainty and through your drive and you’ve continued to build on your experience. All of us know that our experiences are our best asset but it also becomes a challenge at times because we’re limited to what we learnt from our experience and our more recent experiences always play much more in the way we make decisions, we’re human right. What data does is allow us to make sure that we put the right nuance on it or challenge us enough to make sure that we’re headed in the right direction. In today’s competitive environment, the ability of data to make sure that we put the right amount of emphasis, the right nuance, the right direction on what we would do to experience a judgment allows us to move our organization either faster or more quickly in a given direction. That’s my perspective.
HEATHER: And I completely agree with that perspective and I’m just going to add to that so because this is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. So about a year ago when I was at a prior company, it was at FAP, I moderated a panel at one of our big conferences of three CEOs and I you know, lesson learned, you know I think if you’re an attorney they tell you never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to, because I asked the question to the panel, kind of because we had extra time, you know how do you make decisions? And it was shocking to me, almost everyone on the panel came back and said “Well I make it based on my judgment,” so the exact same thinking that the person who submitted this question had. So when I actually drilled down and tried to understand how they made decisions because I was a little bit aghast that my question sort of blew up on me, I really found out that all of them made informed decisions. So, I really believe, and I’ve actually written a blog on this and spent a lot of time thinking about it, that the better information you can provide a person and the more important or serious a decision they’re making or the more impactful a decision they’re making, the more information they have the better to allow them to bring that in as well as their own perspective and background. You ultimately will have much better decision making if you can provide them that information. And that’s kind of the underlying thought behind a company like Domo is really empowering that senior executive with the right information so that they don’t have to fly blind.
HILARY: Alright well thank you both. And here is a question “Do either of you have an example of a middle market company that put value to their data through partnerships similar to the Amex, Amazon partnership that was described and what would be the first step to pursue that?”
NARENDRA: Here’s what I have seen. I’m limited again, I’m limited to what I have seen. What I have seen is many distributors say if I brought up the heavy equipment example earlier, many distributors in industrial products and heavy equipment being able to use their data very richly with large customers to be able to service them better or to be able to improve the value of their contracts or increase their service contracts. So in those area I have seen data exchange be very valuable. The first step again is first, understanding what is the monetary value of your data because if you’re going to go and offer your data or ask for data, there has to be, the first question is going to be why to do it, just generally collaborating is never a good answer, but being able to collaborate with a specific target in mind on joint customer acquisition or reducing your service costs etc. are extremely appealing.
Many years ago to give a different middle market example, I worked with a very progressive retailer, Wakemans Markets in upstate New York and they had 50 stores at that time. But they were tremendously transparent to their media manufacturing partners on what the inventory positions were both in the warehouse end and the store as well as exactly what products they were featuring in display in each of their 50 stores. And the bet they were placing was that, that transparency would allow them to be able to gain the best promotions from those manufacturers and use the manufacturers’ intelligence on how to drive better sales in each of their stores. And it worked wonderfully. This is over fifteen, twenty years ago so this is not a new, it’s not a new phenomena but at that time you were a real pioneer. Now that data is much richer, and you could see the same thing. In both those cases that I’m thinking about the first thing that one part of the organization did was put a clear monetary value on that data exchange.
HILARY: Alright, thank you very much. Looking at the questions, here another question that we have is “What data do we have that using data and analytics in your organization leads to improved decision making?” Narendra do you have any ideas on that?
NARENDRA: I could start. You know I will continue to build on what we discussed earlier. You have a tremendous amount of data about yourself already, and again I would recommend that you ask someone on your team to really make an inventory of the data you have, you’ll be surprised. If you have a field force then you have data from their devices. If you have a network of autos you have data from their GPS devices. If you have factories then you have data from manufacturing sensors, you have receipt data for products coming in etc. So, understanding the different sets of data, if you’re a consumer or retailer you have social media data that is available to you because your consumers connected with you on Facebook or on some other social media site. So understanding that set of data is really worthwhile and then laying out some clear objectives, whether it’s in customer acquisition, in broad categories, customer acquisition, customer retention or capital efficiency of profitability, laying out some broad targets for your team members as to which areas you want the data applied to, to drive better results, completely syncing with your strategy would be a great way to start.
HEATHER: And just to add to that, this is Heather, I completely agree with what he’s saying, that there is so much data out there and I think every company when they assess what all information they have access to, it’s going to be overwhelming and enormous. And so the real question for me is not what data do you have, but what’s the most important data and I think we’ve seen with our customers and then just working in technology throughout my career, the harder thing is to figure out what are the key ones we want to track? What are the ones that are most important to us? What are the ones we want to look at on a regular basis? And that’s why Domo for example has made a very significant investment in our KPI library, so it’s over 10,000 KPI’s and we’ve built in kind of best practices. So if you’re in a particular industry you can go in and see what are the industry standards and the best practices that that industry is looking at. Or, if you’re in a specific function like customer service, or HR, what are the key things I should be looking at, at the head of a call center, for example. And so that way you can easily get going quickly and not be overwhelmed by your data but figure out, hey here’s the ten or fifteen things I really should be looking at, let’s get those in place.
HILARY: Okay thank you. Well we’re going to wrap up with I think a final question and someone’s wondering how both of you, with your companies, come up with a common decision making process because with the line between big data, analytics dashboards and monetized outcomes, how do they connect with that common decision making process? So if you both want to touch on that before we wrap it up today? Heather do you want to start?
HEATHER: Sure. So I think at the end of the day we use our own tool internally here at Domo, so we have a lot of conversations and collaboration with everybody on the same page with information. We have assigned different charts and graphs out to people so they go in and see what’s going on, and we actually make a big chunk of our decision in the tool itself. As an example last week I had a situation with a particular campaign as the marketer that wasn’t performing well and I assigned a graph of that campaign that’s on my dashboard to the guy on my team that was running it and said, you know what are we doing here, shall we stop spending money on this? And we actually communicated within our business intelligence tool and made the decision online real time and we didn’t have to meet about it. Now having said that I still believe that there are some decisions that you’re going to make as a company and an organization that you’re going to have to get together, either face to face or on the phone and have the discussion. So what we found here at Domo is that if we all walk into that meeting in person or that conference call on the phone with the same set of information and we’ve all seen the same data and we know what the problem is, the decision making process is so much faster and it’s so much more efficient. We all quickly get on the same page because we all have the same insights walking in. So I think whether it’s smaller decisions that you can do real time online, or bigger decisions that you need to actually get together on, putting a tool in place that everybody has the same information to start from the same perspective is unbelievably valuable.
HILARY: And Narendra do you have any comments on that?
NARENDRA: I think you know, where Heather touched on the key point which is to get the common decision you need two things. First, a shared set of facts so getting someone right, your CFO or someone to agree as to what are the shared type of fact that everybody is going to use as input to the decision so you’re all talking out of the same page. And then laying out a very simple process right, for how those facts turn into decisions right, as to how each person provides input and how you will come to a conclusion or who owns that conclusion, whether it’s the CFO, your COO, which decisions you will own yourself, which ones do you want dropped to you, is that correct. I think the laying out of the combination of the set of facts which Heather later pointed out in the tool, become very acceptable in a distributed organization. And making sure that a simple one page, governance process cannot go into two pages, you’re done for if they do, but a simple one page governance process is going to get you there.
HILARY: Oh I think that’s great advice, well Heather and Narendra thank you so much for sharing your information with us today and knowledge thank you.
NARENDRA: Our pleasure.
HEATHER: Thank you.
HILARY: I would also like to thank Domo for sponsoring today’s event and thank all of you for attending and that’s going to wrap up our event today. We thank you for being here and hope to see you next time, this concludes today’s presentation.
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