Building the Right Data-Powered Product

You’ve seen the white paper or the market research report that demands you get more from your data. Don’t let your data sit there, get after it. Turn it into gold. That’s probably the title of the white paper: “Get more from your data.” While data is valuable, these white papers rarely provide guidance or advice on how to get started.

What’s helpful are real examples of how clients actually got more from their data. Here are 3 examples of projects we’ve worked on that should give you some ideas of what it’s like to explore what you own and what’s possible:

Why are you analyzing this data?

  • Tap the untapped database. We recently spoke to a company about analyzing their web traffic data. During that conversation, it became clear that this company also has years of call center transcripts sitting in a database. Occasionally, someone will query that database for some insights into a client’s past behavior, but other than that, years of call center data sits there untapped. We immediately saw an opportunity to generate new value for this company. Instead of focusing on anonymous web traffic, we began to analyze the client data in the call center database. Within a week or two, we were able to visualize issues in their current operations and also identify new potential areas for growth. After all, comments could be grouped by client size, industry, and topic area. It was a wealth of operational data.
  • Combine the internal and external. In another situation, a client had lots of churn data that could predict when a customer was going to leave one provider for another. This transactional data was time-stamped and on its own pretty interesting, but it didn’t explain why customers were leaving a company. We used social media feeds and scraped online forums to provide more context for this transactional data. Since social posts and comments were also time stamped, we could provide interesting insight into what events might be causing customers to switch.
  • Provide open access to data. We recently worked for a government agency that kept a lot of data about traffic patterns behind closed doors in their traffic management center. We worked to clean up the data and update it on a frequency that made it valuable to consumers who wanted to see which routes to take. The jobs we wrote processed delays and other traffic alerts that could be used by the traffic management center as well as citizens.

All of these projects took several weeks, not several months. Often executives that haven’t used current tools to visualize and organize data struggle to understand what’s possible and may believe these projects are cost or time prohibitive. These executives are still jaded by expensive experiences with data warehousing and business intelligence projects.
We’ve found that an outside perspective is needed at most companies to identify or expand how data can be used to grow the business. It’s hard to think creatively about your data assets when you know what role they play in your current business.
That’s why we launched TCB Analytics. We look for partners who:

  • Have a product idea
  • Believe it could be a large opportunity but,
  • Don’t know where to start.

As partners, we help our clients focus on the critical questions behind any analytics engagement. Why are you analyzing this data? What are you trying to accomplish? And who are you building it for? These are seemingly simple questions, but we’ve noticed few are able to answer them clearly.

The answers to “why, what, and who” become a lot clearer if you have something to show people. Customers and executives need something to react to. That’s why at TCB Analytics we race ahead with Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development using a team of incredibly talented data scientists who specialize in data visualization. The quality of the data, the uniqueness of the opportunity, and the value to the customer becomes apparent faster when it doesn’t take months to bring it to life. The quality of the data visualization matters. It’s not just supposed to be a pretty picture – it should answer a question.

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