At the LIMRA Big Data Analytics conference in June, I had the pleasure to present with Curt Roloff of Humana and Pankaj Singh of Aflac. We shared experiences on applying analytics and offered specific insights for leveraging data not only to predict outcomes but also to drive actions that achieve profitable revenue growth. Some of the tips we discussed during our session were:
- Align on objectives and get commitment across the organization.
- Look beyond the sales and marketing teams to build alignment throughout the organization.
- Start small, test and learn to find the strategy and execution that works best.
- Sell it (and brand it)—a little marketing can help a lot.
In our talk, we highlighted initiatives that Aflac and Humana had focused on in their analytic pursuits, and we detailed specific, tangible benefits they were able to bring to the business. But while both companies were able to succeed in delivering short-term value through analytics, their ultimate success depended on the disciplined, programmatic approach they took to building their analytic capability.
Neither company had an a-ha moment, when a particular analysis revealed a new path to revenues and profits. Instead, the gains came slowly and through an ever-expanding set of capabilities. This perspective is reinforced by my colleague Arun Shastri in his recent article “Beyond the Big Data Hype—The Real Future of Analytics.” It explores how single sets of analytics alone rarely reveal big discoveries. Rather, analytic capabilities will enable organizations to rapidly collect data and metrics, perform analysis and improve performance across a wide range of business challenges.
Arun’s article is a good read for anyone looking to build an analytics capability or to enhance an existing one. Click here to read more.