Data analytics is big business. How did you get started with it?

About 10 years ago, I used to work for a company that did targeted marketing campaigns. One of the things I saw was that everything was done on gut instinct. This doesn’t really optimize the value of results as well as it could. It is also hard to justify spending on campaigns that are purely based on gut feelings.
Analytics is a very wide term but basically it is about looking at data and knowing what to do with it. The thing is there is a lot of data and a lot of time is spent because people over-analyse or look in the wrong places.

The word progressive to me means dynamically changing but still achieving the goals that you have.

Think of it in the case of a man trying to win the heart of a woman. He needs to be asking the right questions, in other words, get more data. To do that, he needs to ask relevant questions; what she likes to do, what is her favourite food or what are her hobbies. The outcome is to take her out but before that the man needs to be asking questions relevant to that outcome.

How do you communicate this to businesses?

At Priority Dynamics (PD), we believe that data analytics should be viewed in a practical way. It is not about having expensive licensed software or applications as they do not necessarily translate to better insights for decision making. We help businesses find the balance between cost of analytics and cost of opportunity.
To get into data analytics and science, you need to first understand what your business objectives are. Otherwise you’ll be spending a lot of time looking at data but not knowing what to do with it.

What did people do before data analytics?

The task of analyzing data isn’t new. People and businesses have long analysed data such as statistics.
The thing about statistics is that it can only tell you what is but it won’t help you to generate insights which are useful for your business.
Data science and analytics falls in between statistics and computer science which makes it a formidable tool for business because you are combining large amount of relevant information in an automated manner.

Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Not really (laughs). But that experience 10 years ago set me off on a journey into data science and analytics. I think that this realm is essentially a new industry which is applicable in any sector whether its telecommunications or in retail.

As someone who started getting into the industry 10 years ago, do you see changes of perception from people with regards to data analytics?

The awareness of analytics is already there. It was just that the resources for data science was lacking at that time. There is a lot of hype surrounding data analytics with many businesses thinking that it is just about getting the right software.
The best way is to first have a strong understanding of exactly what results you want for the business before moving on to select the type methodology that you want to use to get the data that you need for the outcome that you want.

Are you talking about getting the fundamentals right first and foremost?

Yes. And use their imagination at the same time. If I want to start a food business, the typical questions to be asked are such as what food I want to deliver and at what price. These business questions allow us to understand the market.
If I ask enough of these questions, I get a stronger understanding of what the customers could want. If I find out that the customers are health conscious, then I know how to start campaigns to get the results. It is basically looking at the data that you have and looking at future trends and possible customer behaviour.

What does the word ‘progressive’ mean to you?

The word progressive to me means dynamically changing but still achieving the goals that you have.
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