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Data and analytics

Top 5 Tips to Activate Your Analytics

We live in a data-driven society. With the heightened ability to collect valuable information from clients, business owners can make informed strategic decisions based on measurable client data and performance.

Russ Fenske, Canadian Western Bank's AVP, Analytics, recently hosted an Expert Series seminar with CWB clients, showing them the power that lies within data.

Overall, there are two different types of analytics according to Russ: what clients think (market research) versus what clients do (behaviour analysis). The combination of these types of research are a powerful mix of information that gives entrepreneurs a road map to understand their client base and further grow their business.

We have compiled the top five Expert Series takeaways to help you action your analytics now.

Tip #1: Your NPS score is a great indication of your current standing

First launched and implemented in 2003, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a great way to get a base level understanding of your business’s current reputation among its clients. Scores can be as high as 100 and as low as -100, and are far more sensitive than a satisfaction score. “The idea is that this score will change fast, because it’s a ‘right minus wrong’ measurement,” says Russ. “There’s a strong correlation between a company’s NPS and its future revenue growth.”

To calculate your NPS, simply ask clients to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your company to a friend or colleague (10 being most likely). To get your NPS, subtract the total proportion of people who score it a 6 or lower from the proportion who scored it 9 or 10.
“It’s also crucial to know the industry NPS benchmark, as this can vary widely from business to business,” Russ continues.
Compare apples to apples from your business to the average NPS of your industry and you can start to identify opportunities for improvement.

Tip #2: Segmentation is key to mining insights

Believe it or not, even if you haven’t done the analysis yet, your current client database is full of analytics that can be used for future planning. General data collected to complete a transaction is often a great place to start, and by segmenting these into groups you can further understand the current and future needs of your clients.
Begin by grouping people with something in common. “The ‘something’ we choose is whatever we feel is most relevant to give us the biggest strategic advantage,” says Russ. “This could be geographic, demographic, behaviour or needs — anything.”

By examining the components of your client base, you’re able to make decisions about which markets to enter into next (i.e., what is the dominant demographic of your current client base and where are more of them located?) or what kinds of products to offer (i.e., is there a product that is associated with a certain behaviour from one of your segments?). 

Tip #3: Augment your data with publicly available information

This goes hand-in-hand with Tip #2. While your current client database is a great place to start mining for analytics, use publicly available information to develop actionable steps from those insights. 
“A lot of times a company won’t have the right information handy,” explains Russ. “This doesn’t mean you’re stuck! There are still lots of things we can do if you don’t have all the information to begin.”

Take a look at your market areas of interest through the lens of Statistic Canada and learn more about the population demographics. Understanding the relative income and education levels of the people living in your target area can help determine crucial information like price points and need for your services.

Tip #4: Client journey mapping helps find key moments of truth

Just as you would use a map to journey from Point A to Point B, creating a map from the first touch point with your business through to the final stages will help you understand where pain points may lie. There could be unclear or confusing signage around your physical location that frustrates and confuses clients, or an order system on your website that frequently crashes or returns errors at the point-of-purchase. 
“Keep in mind that there are touch points on the client journey that are not directly involved with your business as well,” says Russ. “Things like word-of-mouth and press coverage are first points of contact for clients that are not controlled by business owners, but it’s important to note these entries as well.”

By mapping the complete experience a client has with your business from start to finish, it may be possible to notice a gap in experience (e.g., an opportunity to follow-up or begin the conversation earlier) or opportunities to delight your clients with a surprise at crucial steps in the journey (e.g.,  a discount offered for future services or incentives to continue on in a process). 

Tip #5: Define success to measure impact

All of the analytics in the world won’t help build your business if you’re not measuring the effects of your changes. 
“There’s often a difference between what people will say and what people will do,” Russ explains. “But you have to get information in practice and do some testing to see if what people say holds true. Data is useful but needs to be applied.”
Map your starting point by charting your current client data. By thoroughly examining and documenting the data of your current client base and comparing this to your overall business goals such as expansion or product diversification, correlations and patterns will emerge offering a clear path for the future. For instance, if your goal is to open another location, determine where your current client base is most dense and note any similarities within this group. These demographic markers are a blueprint to reaching future clients by finding a location with a similar make-up. 

Other metrics to measure may be an increase in NPS, more conversions and form fills on your website, greater foot traffic at brick-and-mortar locations, or an increase in web traffic from a specific demographic or type of client. 

Interested in attending a future CWB Expert Series event? Contact your relationship manager or your local CWB banking centre