Analytics in Services: Actions Versus Talk

The INSIGHT Group / CSL CTS Symposium Survey Panel

Ed Petrozelli - The INSIGHT Group

By Ed Petrozelli

By all accounts, the use of big data and analytics is exploding. Ironically, relatively little hard analysis has been done to assess exactly how it is being applied, and to what effect – especially as it relates to services. So, as has been observed by others, we are left to ponder the balance between talk and action.

Internal Focus

Much of the conversation has been centered on applying analytics to an organization’s internal operations in order to increase efficiency and reduce risk. There are a myriad of case studies in functions ranging from supply chain optimization to new employee candidate screening. There are also numerous examples of leveraging big data and analytics to improve the efficacy of marketing in order to increase yields, extend reach and enhance the target customer experience.

Within the realm of services, there are a growing set of proof points for using analytics in setting and managing service levels.  Examples include: service analytics for internal benchmarking of operations to make improvements; customer analytics to identify changes in service delivery; and financial analytics to determine the relative value of customers and segments.

New Services Revenue

There has been less discussion on the promise of analytics as a new revenue source. The end game should be to apply analytics in expanding the top line as much as reducing the bottom line. Of course, there are the suppliers that are in business to sell analytics software and data management solutions; however, I’m referring to companies that leverage these tools, combined with mountains of data and deep pools of expertise, to deliver new services to customers – often with innovative business models.  A few forward thinking companies are doing just that with leading edge applications such as:

  • Energy Services Companies that provide building analytics as a service to owners/tenants.
  • Learning Companies that are piloting personalized digital learning solutions based on student analytics.
  • Agriculture Companies that are harvesting a storehouse of agronomic data to offer farmers improved yields.

What we learned

To further develop insights into how companies are actually leveraging analytics, we partnered with ASU’s Center for Services Leadership (CSL) to survey member companies and registered attendees of the CSL Annual Symposium. This spans a broad spectrum of industries and services offerings. The objective is to better understand the strategic intent behind the use of analytics and the lessons learned so far. A somewhat surprising picture of adoption is emerging that reflects both potential and confusion. Our research has also yielded an interesting set of issues and critical success factors.

To learn more, join our executive panel at the 26th Annual Compete through Service Symposium on Thursday, November 5th, 2015.  Representatives from IBM, INTEL, DuPont – Pioneer, and Siemens will join with me to comment on these findings and also share their experiences and insights regarding leveraging big data and analytics to grow services revenues. Also check out our article, Generating New Services Revenues through Analytics.

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