While 75 percent of companies from all sectors and sizes feel they are making the most of their data, in actuality 43 percent “obtain little tangible benefit from their information” and 23 percent “derive no benefit whatsoever.”
Why the big disconnect?
Many companies make an initial investment in data analytics, but then struggle, waiting months or so until they see a return on their investments. For any company that’s seeking to improve their value through data analysis, the business problem needs to come first. The technology comes later, but when it does, it has the power to be transformative. Sometimes that requires a shift in culture, but usually it just means seeking out the low-hanging fruit. There needs to be a way to accelerate time to value, and smart data analysis can bring that.
For a top online gaming company, that insight is done in real-time, a remarkable feat considering how much data they deal with. With millions of subscribers and thousands of concurrent streams of their high-profile games running at any given time, the company has petabytes of data that can help improve gameplay for its subscribers and also maximize the value it gets from each of them.
To address that issue, this company, using data flowed through a Hadoop cluster with analysis through Teradata, is able to monitor in real-time monetary statistics likes revenue per user and subscription data, but the company can also get smarter about its customers in general — ensuring that they have a great time playing and continue coming back for more.
Like most companies though, to get the most return on investment from their big data venture, they needed to prioritize which data points mattered and then make some internal changes. Like Teradata CTO Stephen Brobst said at the 2016 Teradata Partners Conference when discussing his work with companies such as this one, “No one actually cares about the data. They care about what you can do with the data.” To be able to effectively use the data they gathered, this top online gaming company had to align its game developers and business analysts under “engagement managers” — a new job position focused on integrating best business practices and optimal gameplay.
Many other industries can benefit from this kind of big data investment, but they need to follow a framework and business plan to be able to reap the rewards. Teradata helps these companies achieve their data-driven goals in a matter of weeks instead of months by using our Business Value Framework. Key to all this is the business’ knowledge — they know their customers and marketing better than anyone, but often struggle to get results. At Teradata, 95 percent of our experts have worked as a data analytics manager in their career. Through the Business Value Framework, they can use a company’s data to identify customer insights and improve customer experience. While the business example I gave is in a niche industry, every company wants to ultimately make their customer more engaged — from industries like utilities, oil and gas, healthcare, insurance, digital media and automotive, to name a few.
Companies that engage in the Business Value Framework go through a process called Rapid Analytic Consulting Engagement (RACE) — a low-stakes engagement that helps identify the low-hanging fruit at a company. By addressing the areas of a business that can easily be transformed through data analysis, a company could see results in six to 10 weeks, rather than 12 to 15. This is a huge shift for most companies, who are used to waiting months, if over a year, to see results from their big-data investment. It’s essentially like starting on week five of a project instead of week one. Companies can chose to run a few RACES at once, and then consultants can identify which use cases to tackle and in which order by creating a Business Opportunities Roadmap. Then things like customer insights, path to purchase and customer behavioral preference analysis can all be addressed in a sequence where a company will see returns quickly.
Accelerating time to value is key in getting meaningful insights from your data analytics solution. Finding the right Business Value Framework to get your company there faster is essential.
Dan Harrington is executive vice president of consulting and support services for Teradata, reporting to Vic Lund. He is responsible for leading the global consulting organization focused on helping customers architect, implement and manage the analytic ecosystem, including Teradata products on premises, in the cloud, and open-source technologies. In addition, he guides the customer services organization as they deliver world-class support to customers around the globe, and the development of analytical business solutions.
Dan has experience in all facets of the business, including sales, services, marketing and engineering and has held multiple leadership roles, including head of Teradata’s international sales and services organization, research and development and worldwide marketing.
Dan started his career with NCR Corporation in 1985 in Dallas, Texas as a sales person, eventually becoming district sales manager for major commercial accounts. In 1991, he was appointed director of marketing for the U.S. communications industry. In 1993, he took on responsibility for NCR’s global expansion into the communications industry as assistant vice president for Worldwide Communications Industry Marketing.
In 1994, he became vice president, Teradata Product Management, and in 1995 he was appointed vice president, Worldwide Teradata Marketing, where he helped successfully guide the company’s growth in data warehousing. Three years later he was named vice president, Worldwide Marketing for Teradata’s computer business. His European assignment began in 1999 when he was appointed area manager of Teradata Northern Europe and subsequently Dan became vice president of sales for Teradata Europe. During his assignment, the region achieved major growth in sales, profitability and new strategic customers.
In 2005, he returned to the U.S. to head up Teradata’s Global Customer Services business and continued to hold positions of increasing responsibility.
Based in Rancho Bernardo, CA, Dan earned a Master’s degree in business management and graduated with distinction from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Angelo State University, graduating summa cum laude.