Business Analytics: An Overrated Sham

By Gary Cokins, Apr 01, 2016

Gary Cokins offers his hot take on business analytics and big data, with an unexpected twist at the end.

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I will probably exaggerate, but here is my take on the skeptics of analytics. They are likely to be over the age of 50. When they took a statistics course in college, many of them probably just wanted to pass with a “D” or passing grade and get the course behind them.

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I was recently a presenter at an analytics conference where a speaker in the customer marketing tracks said something that stimulated my thinking. He said, “Just because something is shiny and new, or is now the ‘in’ thing, it doesn’t mean it works for everyone.”

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Is Embracing Analytics a Rush to Judgment?

By Gary Cokins, Dec 09, 2014

Allow me to take a contrarian view to the rapid interest in applying analytics. Have we seen this kind of story before? Is there a rush to judgment that analytics is the elusive cure-all magic potion or panacea that management has been seeking to achieve extraordinary high performance?

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Analytics to Increase Customer Profitability and Value

By Gary Cokins, Jun 21, 2013

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

A shift to customer-centric analytics is providing the finance and accounting function an opportunity to make an even greater contribution to increasing the organization’s profits. The CFO’s function has progressed beyond its past reputation as a financial steward and reporter of history to perform in a strategic role. Because of analytics, there are now more opportunities to help managers gain deeper insights into where the business makes more or less profit.

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Are All of Your Customers Profitable to You?

By Gary Cokins, Jun 20, 2013

Managers are increasingly seeking more granular data about the costs related to delivering products to and serving a customer, as well as information about intangibles such as customer loyalty and social media messaging of the company and its competitors. This information is essential to retain and grow existing customers and to win-back and acquire the types of new customers that will be relatively more profitable.

Companies are realizing that it is no longer their objective to just increase their market share and grow sales but rather to grow profitable sales and maximize the return on investment (ROI) from their marketing efforts. The application of analytics is critical to achieve this objective.

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Analysts are Movies. Executives are Snapshots.

By Gary Cokins, Apr 04, 2013

Do you think that an organization’s executives are the most important element for an organization’s success? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe there are key employees who are more critical in key ways than the leadership at the helm.

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Some analysts dig deep into historical information to glean insights once hidden. Other analysts are obsessed with predictive analytics and Big Data to foresee the future. Are these in actuality the same person or two different rivals with their own ideology?

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At some level we are all analysts. Life is an endless series of problem solving episodes and making choices. We are not novices at being analytical, but there are traits of analysts whose daily job is to analyze. Marketing analysts determine how to improve sales of products and services and to get insights into customer behavior. Financial analysts determine how best to deploy resources to achieve an organization’s goals. Medical analysts search for cures of diseases. There are types of analysts in every field.

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Analytics: Like a Mosquito in a Nudist Colony

By Gary Cokins, Mar 22, 2012

I routinely see opportunities for analysis in my daily life. Perhaps I was born with the DNA to constantly collect data and evaluate for better outcomes. For example, which check-out line should I enter at the store? Look at the length of the line and the number of items in the shopping carts of those already in line.

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