Someone said, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. It’s often credited to W. Edwards Deming, the founder of the Total Quality Management (TQM) practice. Others think it was Peter Drucker, the legendary management consultant.
Or maybe the quote was, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. Either way, the point is clear. For a very long time—perhaps since the beginning of existence—business leaders have known you need good metrics to maintain a healthy, growing business.
Chart of Revenues (5 horses), circa FY18000BC – Lascaux, France
Since the early days of business, measuring tools have become more sophisticated, intelligent, and insightful. Dashboards, spreadsheets, and databases have evolved to make it easier to measure…and then manage.
One thing, however, has largely (and sadly) not changed: the slow and reflective nature of the process. It still takes too long to measure an activity, analyze results, and then act to fix issues and/or leverage opportunities.
While this reflective cycle is necessary, it is no longer enough to stay on top. There is a new, disruptive standard taking hold in business operations. And it's time for every business leader to embrace predictive analytics to stay competitive.
Put simply, predictive analytics is the concept of using the data you have available to learn and then drive your business. Predictive analytics provides leading indicators and infers what to do next. In other words, it replaces the need to rely solely on lagging indicators.
Take the company I lead: FeedbackNow. We help clients of all types (hospitals, airports, retailers, hotels, etc.) measure, analyze, and act on customer experience (CX) sentiment at the exact moment and location it occurs.
Our solution gives our clients a distinct edge because it happens in minutes. As opposed to the days/weeks/months most companies experience when they rely on surveys to get customer feedback.
However, we knew that even this advantage wasn’t enough for our clients. So, we conceived, built, and launched FeedbackNow Predict. This capability enables our clients to:
Then we correlate all the above with customer sentiment to determine predictively when and how to act. Instead of waiting around to analyze data, our customers can prevent bad experiences before they happen. This enables our customers to optimize both costs and results.
This shift from using lagging indicators to identifying leading indicators is the clear next step for every aspect of business. We’re still at the dawn of how AI and Machine Learning can be harnessed to find patterns and combinations that would never be uncovered by humans themselves.
Do you know what combinations of activities indicate your clients are getting value out of your product? Do you know what patterns reveal that your clients are frustrated and giving up?
We’ve all had one or more clients we thought were happy surprise us right before the quarter ends and suddenly state they’re “going another way”. And when that happened, did you say something like “If I only knew they were unhappy, I could have….”?
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The future here is clear. Only businesses that are proactive and don't stay stuck in the past will survive and grow. Infuse predictive analytics into your business now and beat your competitors to it.
One of the beautiful things about machine learning is how it gets more impactful over time. The earlier you start using it, the greater your competitive advantage will become. Don’t wait; get started now. Your business growth depends on it!