Thought Leadership

Too many companies overlook these 4 areas when implementing a data analytics program

Nick Amabile


November 25, 2020
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Given the costs associated with establishing a modern data program, your business needs to see a quick and clear return on investment.

Depending on your organization, multiple teams are the most vocal advocates for the gains made possible through data analytics.

Business intelligence software reveals a new world for marketing teams, who gain insights into campaign performance and user behavior. Sales departments can access an array of new KPIs and actionable customer insights. And, when it comes to planning and operations, finance leaves behind miles of spreadsheets for a more targeted and efficient world.

However, for all these potential gains through data analytics, too many companies are missing key opportunities elsewhere in their organization. According to a recent survey by our partners at FiveTran, roughly two-thirds of all companies using business intelligence solutions apply these insights to expand their marketing, finance, and sales capabilities. But less than half are applying the same benefits to internal teams with just as much to gain. Though not commonly associated with the benefits of data analytics, your company’s legal, HR, and IT departments should not be forgotten when undergoing a digital transformation.

If you haven’t extended your data program’s capabilities into these areas, you’re losing out on critical ways to maximize your company’s return on investment. Or, if your CEO remains unconvinced that adding a modern data stack is a sound investment, your ability to illustrate how its benefits will encompass your whole organization will provide the additional persuasion you need.

1. IT teams gain stronger network security through data analytics

In a business climate that’s dependent upon reliable access to technical resources that are connected and protected, IT security is a critical point of focus. Malicious activity on the servers, laptops, and mobile devices across your internal network cripples productivity while jeopardizing the status of your hardware, private customer information, and worse.

IT teams recognize the need for security, but they’re not data engineers. A warehouse platform like Snowflake will allow your IT staff to centralize machine data and recognize vulnerabilities before they’re exploited. Through data analytics, Looker allows your teams to track how often users access the network, regularly update their passwords, or have adopted two-factor authentication for their email.

Without a modernized data program, your IT department must generate manual reports and one-off requests to monitor suspicious network activity. Extending the potential of data analytics to this crucial area allows your business to better recognize problems before they start. Centralizing data won’t replace all security log & event capturing but it can be more cost-effective and accessible through a modern data warehouse like Snowflake and a BI tool like Looker.

2. Analyze employee data and improve hiring processes in HR and recruiting

Whether your firm is tracking user flow from website content to a CTA conversion or the completion of a sale, data analytics illustrates the key points in the journey. For companies looking to attract the best talent, the same principles apply to an effective recruitment strategy.

Using the same methodologies as sales, HR teams can use data analytics to track the effectiveness of hiring efforts. Whether monitoring your own website forms or outside platforms like Workday, hiring teams can improve funnel conversion rates and optimize the application process. But the potential benefits to HR for a modern data program extend to current employees as well.

When applied to internal surveys, data analytics measures your satisfaction rates for both employees and their managers. By gaining a fuller picture of employee happiness, HR teams can foster a better workplace environment and, ultimately, greater retention. The ability to compile employee data also reveals demographic details about your company that may otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, hiring managers will better recognize and address any unconscious biases in both hiring and advancement.

3. Monitor customer service metrics to build a better product

As data allows you to optimize your workforce, you can apply its insights toward establishing better relationships with customers. Call centers are often large teams that provide a critical touchpoint for your brand – especially in today’s market. Through data analytics, your support team managers can evaluate metrics such as hold times, call duration, and number of calls served in a given shift.

By generating these reports, you determine whether your customers are having a positive experience with support teams and adjust accordingly. Plus, your product teams gain a better understanding of customer satisfaction through tracking net promoter scores (NPS). If customers are frustrated and unlikely to recommend your brand, your developers will recognize areas in a product that need improvement – and fast.

4. Track legal compliance and vendor performance through data analytics

No matter the size of your organization, outside vendors provide a lifeline of support and expertise. As projects stack up across multiple departments, it’s difficult to track expenditures through conventional spreadsheets alone.

However, once all your contracts are compiled into a single, trustworthy source, teams better recognize how resources are allocated. Some organizations may face procurement thresholds for expenditures toward vendors or services. Business intelligence software brings these insights to the fingertips of your accounting teams. With ready access to the number of 1099s or W-9s being distributed, your business better understands whether outside contractors are a cost-effective solution.

Data analytics also benefits legal teams, who can better monitor your organization’s compliance efforts. Your legal department can track NDAs sent to vendors versus the number returned, as well as any outstanding insurance certifications. Through more effectively illustrating how consistently your vendors act within your legal standards, your company remains in compliance too.

In a competitive business climate, all organizations see the value in the efficiencies and insights made possible through data analytics. Right now, 98% of companies use some form of business intelligence. But data offers more value to your organization beyond generating user behavior insights, supply chain issues, and campaign performance totals. A sustainable digital transformation requires comprehensive technological and organizational shifts to your organization. Once those changes are in place, you must ensure its benefits are just as far-reaching for your business.