Monday, April 29, 2013

Making Data Work for You: Kelley Forum on Business Analytics

By Matt McAndrews - Class of 2014, Consumer Marketing

Matt McAndrews
This semester I loaded up on analytics courses. Spreadsheet Modeling, Data Mining, Marketing Intelligence, and Marketing Strategy. It's been a semester of regressions, logarithms, decision trees and principal component analysis. It felt like learning a new language - "Nagelkerke R-Squared" and "Varimax Roatation". And I've learned how to run analytics across platforms, from Excel to SPSS to SPSS Modeler.

Sometimes during the semester, I wondered what I was doing learning the material. Would I use it in my career, or was it all theoretical gibberish? Sure, I could build models that could predict outcomes with a 2% better probability than randomness, but was this stuff even used in the real world?
Michael Chu
Principal at McKinsey & Co

On April 12, I had the opportunity to attend the Kelley Forum on Business Analytics. The keynote speaker Michael Chu, Principal at McKinsey & Company, spoke to the transformative value of data to test hypotheses, replace human decision-making, and to innovate new business models. Representatives from FedEx, Deloitte, Proctor & Gamble, and IBM spoke to the difficulty in finding managers who understood analytics. I was inspired; analytics was real, powerful, and firms were looking for talent.

Michael Wilhite
Senior Vice President, dumhumby USA
leader of Kroger Insights and
customer knowledge capability 
One of the best breakout sessions I attended was held by Michael Wilhite, Head of Global Analytics at dunhumby.  He spoke about data analytics in retail. Successful retail establishments are moving beyond the traditional models of broadly segmenting the market. Rules-driven algorithms can personalize products and services, to create a stronger relationship between the retailer and the customer.  While some consumers may see this as a betrayal of privacy, other consumers appreciate that a business understands their specific needs and can offer exactly what is wanted. Data analytics is transforming the retail experience from the impersonal big box to practically having a personal shopper.

At the company roundtables which completed the program, I was able to network with a number of firms recruiting for analytics consultants, such as IBM, Booze Allen Hamilton, and Deloitte, as well as firms looking to fill internal analytics positions, including Discover and Proctor & Gamble. As opposed to the crowded finance and marketing networking fairs from the winter recruiting season, this crowd was sparse, and the recruiters were eager. At the end of the day, I knew that the analytics skills I have been learning in class are in demand, and my Kelley MBA is setting me up for success.  

1 comment:

  1. I just want to ask what is secondary market research which will be more effective in all ways. The best reporting can be good.