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Analytics for Enterprises versus Internet Start Ups

We know that the use of analytics for business is the key to unlocking its data’s value. Getting actionable data translates to positive business outcomes can be used to reduce operational efficiency, meeting compliance requirements, or anticipating market needs. But the complexity of large business data can make it difficult to unlock the value.

Data can exist in various formats in various servers, files, hosting providers, and data warehouses. This also implies that an integrated data warehouse already exists. Even if there is an existing warehouse, shifts in business strategy or the use of technology can create disperate data locations that can’t be used in a data analytics platform. This is something I experienced as a corporate CIO. We knew there was a great amount of information we could use to better serve internal and external customers, but compiling the data into a usable report took too much time and was not on-demand. We did not lack good tools or the talent to generate insight. We had the support from BI vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAS, and others. And our team was one of the best in the business. But the complexity and shifting requirements (either by the business or compliance reasons) added complex variables into the equation. Additionally, unstructured data didn’t necessarily ‘fit’ into our data warehouse for analysis.

In an Internet startup, analytics is essential as well, but is easier in the sense that there are no legacy systems, historical data, and outdated models that need to be pulled together. Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, posted his thoughts on how their data was used to raise $40million. Data analytics providers such as RJMetrics (customer acquisition metrics and customer lifetime value), SEOmoz (SEO data), Salesforce (CRM data), and Google Analytics (visit data, referrals, and traffic) can provide value for much less implentation costs.

Combining data from these services, they can provide a good view of where the business is now. While easier to build in analytics from the beginning, you still need to know what you’re looking for and how to set goals for your business. Without those, you as the visionary CEO won’t know where you’re paving the road towards so your team can get there.

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