Analytics are becoming one of the most powerful tools that businesses and CIOs can have in their tool belts. Simply put, analytics is our ability to track information and use it to make more strategic and fact-based decisions. Gone are the days of making decisions based on gut-feelings or outdated industry reports.
Advancements in technologies, more sophisticated mobile devices, and the proliferation of the cloud, have all helped lead to a world where insightful business data can be tracked and managed efficiently and cost-effectively.
According to a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) at their CIO Network Conference, business intelligence (BI) and analytics is one of the top priorities for CIOs today. In a Gartner survey, 41 percent of CIOs named BI and analytics as their top priority for 2015, ahead of infrastructure/data center and the cloud. Gartner also predicts that the importance of business intelligence and analytics will continue to grow into 2017.
However, just like any tool, analytics is only truly valuable if the owner knows how to use it. Accumulating data and analytics is not sufficient enough to improve the way you do business. Company leaders must turn those analytics into actions that will improve the overall success of their business. How can CIOs use analytics to help their organization grow?

Analytics for Data Security

As the number and cost of cyber attacks increase, companies are placing high importance on data security. According to a 2015 IBM and Ponemon Institute report, the total cost of data breaches last year reached $3.8 million, a 23% increase from the year before. The average cost per record was between $145 and $154. Data security is an issue all industries face, however, the healthcare industry is hit the hardest. The cost in healthcare can reach up to $363 per lost or stolen record .
CIOs can use data and analytics to identify security challenges and weaknesses before attackers. Then, they can develop strong defense plans that help prevent costly cyber attacks from happening.

Analytics for Customers

The IT department and CIO are becoming increasingly more instrumental to the customer service experience. Businesses can analyze the entire customer journey. Big data can also be used to identify prospects and consumer trends and use that information to improve the sales process. A survey conducted by McKinsey & Company found that 50 percent of businesses that use customer analytics are more likely to significantly increase sales.
One company that is using analytics to learn more about their target audiences and to improve the customer experience is Disney. In select Walt Disney Parks, visitors are given wearable devices when they arrive. The RFID armband checks guests into areas that they visit within the park, allows them to pay for merchandise and tickets, and personalizes their entire experience.
The key to Disney’s wearable initiative is convenience and personalization. Customers want to feel valued by the companies that they support. Organizations that invest time and resources into discovering more about their customers and what they want are more likely to build strong, fruitful relationships.

Analytics for Performance

Engagement and productivity are major issues in the workplace. Now, company leaders have more tools to improve worker performance than ever before. For instance, employee satisfaction, turnover, and sales are all valuable pieces of data that can be analyzed. Learning more about your employees, how they work, what motivates them, and other behaviors can help identify strengths and areas of improvement.
Once CIOs have identified those weak points, then they can propose methods to improve them. Furthermore, when new technologies, collaboration tools, or processes have been implemented, they can track their effectiveness in real-time with analytics.
People increasing value data, analytics, and other fact-based statistics to support a point. If you are proposing a shift in strategy, additional funds for a new project, or another plea to your executive team or board members, it’s important to use strong analytics in your wireless presentation. New presentation software has tons of features that allow you to show analytics in interesting and clear ways that get the attention of your audience and help support your claim.
Data and analytics has changed the way that we learn about customers and has opened up a wide range of possibilities for businesses. The best CIOs are the ones that can help their companies use those analytics to improve performance, security, and drive sales.

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Additional Reading
What is the Role of the CIO in Driving Enterprise Analytics?
The CIO’s Role in Customer Analytics