Data Mining Secrets of Successful Companies

Where's the Beef?

Where’s the Beef?

(Ed: apologies to our vegetarian friends out there…)

Do you remember that wonderful TV ad where a little old lady orders a hamburger, opens it up, and finding a tiny patty in a huge bun demands “Where’s the beef”?  

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with your IT department – a lot! You have technology. It’s probably doing a good job running your core business application, financials, and other day-to-day functions (e.g. email, documents, spreadsheets, etc.) But did you know that approximately 94% of small and medium-sized businesses are missing out on the BEEF” ([Information). You’ve got the technology (the big bun), but where’s the Information (a nice, juicy, massive half-pounder)?

If you’re like the 94%, it goes untapped. There’s a gold mine of information sitting dormant in your enterprise, just waiting to be analyzed and harnessed for your benefit. Successful companies use every single morsel (or “byte”, pun intended) of data and turn it into useful information that gives them a leg up on their competition, the ability to improve performance in any department and finally, increased profit.

 Imagine you are a Manufacturer. With the proper implementation, you could easily (and quickly) find out which machine is the most productive (or breaks down the most). How about your staff? Suppose Harry makes 100 widgets per shift and Joe only makes 85, but is that enough information? You’d need to tie that to the percentage of their goods that pass Quality Control to determine their “net” productivity. Then that must be linked with other information, such as their salary, benefits, expenses and so on to really get a true picture of their productivity.

 Or, suppose you’re in a Professional Services firm (such as Attorneys or Accountants). The same idea applies not only to your staff and clients, but again, virtually all departments. And we haven’t yet found a company or industry that doesn’t need good data mining.

No matter where the data are (did you know that “data” is plural?), there are many ways to bring them all together to enrich your company. Now go mine some data and find the beef!

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