The Opportunity Wedge: A Data-Driven Model For The "Now Economy"

In today’s “now economy” a data-driven mindset has never been more important.

Making a quick and empirical decision will give you a better position as the horizon closes on that new opportunity.  In the following, I’ll explain how to focus on this skill in your business decisions going forward.

The Opportunity Wedge is a concept that essentially views life as a wedge characterised by closing horizons and lost opportunities.  A little dismal – yet true.  Who wants more time?  All of us.  However, the reality is we have less of it each and every day.

Therefore, making decisions and moving forward quickly is key.  In the “now economy” technology has sped up the ability for us to make these decisions.  However, it has also sped up the ability for our competitors to make those same decisions.  The good news is that data is core to technology and therefore can keep the wedge open – longer –if you will.  But, you have to use data.

Let’s talk about analytics briefly.  There are a variety of types, such as Marketing Analytics, Site Selection Analytics, Operational Analytics and so on.  Let’s focus on just one part of Marketing Analytics (e.g. website analytics) for a moment.   Most businesses don’t put enough resources behind the proper extraction and mining of data to make well informed overall business decisions, including marketing.  This can be one of the most valuable sources of information from which to make decisions.

Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how many CEO’s and marketing leaders will commonly spend $54,000 – $85,000 on a new car but won’t allocate the same amount to proper analytics for their business.  I have always said, Google Analytics (a free tool) is great for my Dad’s wine and liquor store but not for a business as complex and diverse as a franchise system, a large retailer, a hospital network or large brand-driven commerce website.

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss the mining of data.  Here too, there are a variety of segment types: marketing, human resources, retail sales, etc.  Yet many businesses do not leverage the data at their fingertips.  It’s what I personally like to call the Seinfeldian Reservation Complex (“You know how to get the data you just don’t know how to use the data.”)  Or worse yet, you don’t know the data exists.  It does!

Every business has a great opportunity to connect analytics, such as website analytics, to data mining practices such as in-store sales and/or social media intelligence to create models NOW that will provide context to decisions being made TOMORROW.  The beauty is that this data may be applied across a variety of systems and departments from marketing, human resources, sales and research and development among others.

Get the facts. Mine your data.  The results will empirically energize or frighten you.  Either way, you will have the answers you need to succeed in moving forward.

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