Posts Tagged bigdata

Making a Sales call- the importance of research, common sense and story telling

Have you been on the receiving end of a Sales call where you know that the rep is from a company that plays in the same market space as yours? This has quickly become one of my biggest pet peeves. Here are a three important things that every sales person must do before making that call to a prospect, lead or contact:

1. Research: Visit the company website. Arm yourself with basic information about the company- what do they do, how big are they, how long have they been around, who are their immediate competitors, has there been any interesting news about them in recent times? Look up the contact on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

2. Common Sense: I was tempted to couple this with research but I do believe this deserves to be mentioned separately. While researching the company and the contact- stop and think. Are you following up to a specific conversation or is this a cold call? If it is the latter- then consider if this company is a potential competitor, potential partner or potential customer. What is the purpose of your call to this contact? Why would they be interested in talking to you? If you’re just going through a list of leads with the same script- then you’re most likely wasting your time and theirs.

3. Story Telling: It is completely okay to call me even if you play in the big data analytics or the BI space. However I am not and cannot be a regular sales call. If there is a specific reason I should take the time to talk to you- then be prepared with a compelling story ahead of time. If you are calling a more promising prospect- then of course- the importance of your story cannot be over emphasized. Remember that you story must be malleable to fit their needs. Don’t forget to listen for the needs before starting the pitching. Nobody likes a pushy sales person.

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Gimme more data strategy!

Gimme more data strategy!

I found this article on gigaom.com with an incredibly provocative suggestion- the CDO’s time has arrived! I had to stop and think about that for a bit. My first reaction was “I have to agree- this is a valid point”. Then I read the article and found that I had to reverse my position after all. Here’s my response to the author: 

“A CIO who understands the need for a proper big data strategy- technology, infrastructure, scalability, governance, accessibility- will do more for an enterprise than a new CxO title. The reality is that data is most powerful when everyone has access to it for their needs. What organizations require is for the data, information and knowledge to be available to the right people as and when they need it- without waiting on data specialists. Such an enabling-focused strategy will benefit any business in the long-term.”

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Intuition and business decisions in the Big Data world

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.” – Steve Jobs

When setting new direction or exploring new ideas, business decision makers often rely on recognizing a pattern or developing a notion that they cannot quite articulate. What they do have to rely upon is years of experience, a deep knowledge and expertise in their domain. Massimo Pigluicci, a philosophy professor at City University of New York says “Intuition is the result of your subconscious brain picking up clues and hints and calculating the situation for you, and that’s based solely on experience”. This is the definition of the best kind of intuition in the business world.

Mr. Jobs had a highly refined gut instinct. Most others benefit from the ability to capture, store and measure a flood of data (big data). This deluge of data has empowered organizations to create analytics and metrics to track behavior and predict the future with greater accuracy than ever before. We can now exploit the advantages that big data to better understand competition, customer base, factors that affect productivity, sales & revenue and to determine the courses of innovation. MIT Professor and director of the MIT Center of Digital Business Erik Brynjolfsson’s studies have shown that data driven decision making does indeed improve the decision making performance by 4-6% in productivity and profitability (ref. HBR Oct 2012).

The more data we can gather, the more sophisticated analytical methods we can adopt, the more decisions we can make with little to no human intervention. Does this mean then that intuitive decisions are not the path to success when working with mountains of structured and unstructured data?

We believe that data driven business analysis doesn’t have to be at odds with intuitive decisions making. Intuition and analysis work best when teamed together to enhance the value offered by the other. This is accomplished by utilizing tools such as Genie the intuitive analyst tool from Quicklogix. Business leaders and analysts can use its simple Google-like querying interface to build an evidence story to corroborate their business instinct.

Big data is making us smarter like never before. Complement this with the intangible advantages of knowledge, experience and yes- intuition to derive the best benefits.

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