Social media is a hot topic today, and many of our clients who are in the product business, especially consumer products, are listening to blogs and social media for diagnosis of issues that relate to their product, and they’re correcting them before the call center ever hears from a client about an issue. So you can look at the signal based on the question that you’re asking and really get new insight and take immediate action that can change the way a product is perceived or adopted.
Have you heard the phrase “crunchy questions.” What is a crunchy question? And how does it help in organization focus on the right analytical pursuits? You’re looking for questions that you can really buy it into, that are serious, substantive, important to your business if you find the answer.
They can really move a needle on your performance. They are questions on which you can actually get some data. It’s hard to do analytics without data so if you can gather any data you might want to look for some other crunchy questions, and then I think finally these are questions that are going to lead to action.
I was turning to the head of a commercial analytics groups at a pharmaceutical firm recently and he said, you know people come to ask us whether we can do promotions analysis or our promotions working. Now that’s a crunchy question, but he answers in a sort of a crunchy way. He says “We can find out three possible things here, either it’s a fantastic success, it’s marginally successful, or it’s unsuccessful.” What are you going to do in each of those cases? And it sounds so cheeky, but it puts the emphasis on what action are you going to take on the basis of the analytics that they performed.
One of the key things about a crunchy question is I have to look at the business process to make sure that I take the answer to the question and actually implement it. If I have come up with a new pricing scheme by product, by distribution channel, I might need to change my compensation systems, my sales force compensation.