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Providing a Data-Driven Foundation to Innovation

Connecting Analytics to Strategy

As SAS notes in its blog on the subject, “Analytics Drives Innovation,” by Fiona McNeill, Global Product Marketing Manager, creating an analytical environment, and converting that environment into an operational process, will drive innovation initiatives. Further, it should be directly tied to the enterprise’s business strategy. “The organization’s strategy should direct the analytical environment, and the analytical environment should support the company’s strategy.”

In this way, the relationship between organizational strategy and the analytical environment is built in three distinct stages, according to SAS:

  1. Stage 1: Long-term informational insight: This type of analysis is what helps organizations identify trends and evaluate business scenarios. Data warehousing, data marts, data lakes, virtualized repositories, online analytical processing (OLAP), reports and interactive visual analysis on loosely coupled sources typically support this stage.
  2. Stage 2: Internal and external environment mapping: This mapping can include market considerations, customers’ behaviors, competitors’ actions, and details regarding the products and services that your organization offers. This allows companies to identify the merits of particular scenarios or characteristics that help direct efforts to improve or change current activity.
  3. Stage 3: Corporate strategy alignment: The development and deployment of analytical models is directed by core business goals such as product expansion (with cross-sell or up-sell initiatives), attrition prevention, fraud identification and risk mitigation. Data- and text-mining models, forecasting and other methods that use artificial intelligence, machine learning or statistics commonly support these types of endeavors.

Supporting Innovation

In All Things Insights’ “Leveraging Data Analytics to Drive Innovation,” we explored how insights, data and analytics can often work in close partnership with innovation to drive product and service development. Indeed, supporting the innovation team is a key area of focus for insights professionals.

Looking forward to FEI 2024? The conference, which will be held June 10 to 12, will feature a session called “Analytics For Innovation,” presented by Anu Sundaram, Vice President, Business Analytics, Rue Gilt Groupe. Where are you as a business? When it comes to your data and analytics, consistent maturity is obviously a must. What does the business need? Areas for analytics work within innovation abound. Efficient, step-change innovation is possible. Divining or refining a data driven analytics strategy is the priority. Register for FEI 2024 here.

The Power of Analytics

Analytics plays a crucial role in driving innovation. Here are several ways, according to ChatGPT, in which analytics can contribute to fostering innovation:

  1. Data-Driven Decision Making: Analytics provides organizations with the ability to make informed decisions based on data insights. By analyzing trends, patterns, and customer behavior, decision-makers can identify opportunities for innovation and refine strategies to meet evolving market demands.
  2. Identifying Market Trends: Analytics tools can analyze market data, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes to identify emerging trends. This information helps organizations stay ahead of the curve, anticipate market shifts, and proactively innovate to meet changing customer preferences.
  3. Customer Insights for Product Development: Understanding customer preferences and needs is essential for innovation. Analytics allows businesses to gather and analyze customer data, enabling the creation of products or services that better align with customer expectations and deliver improved user experiences.
  4. Optimizing Operations and Processes: Analytics can be applied to optimize internal processes and operations. By analyzing performance data, organizations can identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement. Streamlining operations frees up resources that can be redirected towards innovation initiatives.
  5. Predictive Analytics for Forecasting: Predictive analytics leverages historical data to forecast future trends, demand, and outcomes. This capability helps organizations anticipate challenges, plan for future needs, and innovate in a proactive manner rather than reacting to events.
  6. Risk Management: Analytics aids in identifying and mitigating risks by analyzing data related to market dynamics, regulatory changes, and other external factors. By understanding potential risks, organizations can innovate in risk management strategies, ensuring resilience and sustainability.
  7. Personalized Marketing and Services: Analytics enables organizations to create personalized marketing campaigns and services. By analyzing customer data, businesses can tailor their offerings to individual preferences, enhancing customer engagement and driving innovation in marketing strategies.
  8. Supply Chain Optimization: Analytics can optimize supply chain processes by analyzing data related to logistics, inventory levels, and supplier performance. This optimization leads to cost savings, improved efficiency, and opportunities for innovation in supply chain management.
  9. Employee Productivity and Engagement: Analyzing employee data can provide insights into productivity, satisfaction, and engagement levels. Innovations in employee experience and engagement strategies can be developed by understanding workforce dynamics and addressing areas for improvement.
  10. Continuous Improvement Through Feedback: Analytics allows organizations to collect and analyze feedback from customers, employees, and other stakeholders. This continuous feedback loop facilitates iterative improvements, driving innovation in products, services, and overall business strategies.

Analytics to the Core

Analytics serves as a powerful tool for organizations seeking to drive innovation. By leveraging data-driven insights, businesses can make informed decisions, identify market opportunities, optimize operations, and create products and services that better meet the evolving needs of customers and the dynamic business environment.

As SAS notes in its blog, “At its core, analytics provide a foundation for data-driven innovation, creating and delivering new knowledge, and accessible information.” Accessibility is also integral to the process. SAS continues, “The difference with analytically mature, innovative organizations, is that these insights are universally accessible–whether you work in HR, finance, sales, logistics, marketing, or services. The data is recognized as a corporate asset and analytical methods become intellectual property.”

Video courtesy of Experian UK Business


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.


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