After our elaborate blog series, it comes as no surprise that our team is driven by data. In this series, we introduce a few of our passionate team members. In an intimate interview, we ask them to tell us about themselves and the purpose of data insights in your company!
As our second talented data pioneer, Andreas takes the stage. Andreas started as a fresh school graduate in our team. He aims for the interesting mix of development assignments and business related projects:
“After my studies in industrial and software sciences, I ended up at AE as a software engineer. In my first few months, I got a taste of IT craftsmanship in my debut project. From there, I felt that I wanted to develop in an analytics direction, following my school thesis. In my last year as a student I investigated an algorithm to predict emotions in paralysed patients based on their brain waves. This combination of social relevance, business insights and technical expertise appealed to me enormously in this regard.”
Andreas got the opportunity to use different pieces of this combination in his various projects. Andreas: “On one hand, I worked on analytics assignments with a strong business approach. On the other, I got the chance to take on a developer role. Today, it is my technical hunger that is satisfied on my current project. The client offers me a fait amount of time to investigate things myself and to substantiate my finings with my programming experience. Personally, I see the potential of the innovative idea the customer has come up with.”
Supporting your gut feeling
Andreas derives his greatest satisfaction from confirming or rejecting his assumptions: “I enjoy linking occurrences based on data and translating this into concrete business actions: what is a customer doing? Is it useful to take a certain next step? Data should primarily help to support a gut feeling. Often, such a feeling predicts a certain direction you might want to investigate. A thorough data strategy to substantiate or adjust your gut feeling, is indispensable.”
Different data strategies
Companies benefit from such a data strategy, as Andreas sees differences in the needs of B2B vs B2C companies: “With the help of data, B2C companies can better aim and focus their contact with theirs customers. One of the important metrics in this relationship is predicting “churn”: will a customer leave our company? Then why does this customer leave us?
(Read more on these analytics in our Churn Reductor article)
The best practice for companies is to commit to a mix of cost reduction and personalisation, whereby the needs of customers are monitored and fulfilled throughout the entire customer journey. Analytics is a powerful tool in this. On the other hand, there are B2B companies, which usually focus their efforts more on process optimisation. Can we do things more efficiently and at a lower cost? An example of this, we find in predictive maintenance, where analytics predicts whether a machine needs repair work. By performing the repairs before a machine fails and shuts down, a company saves a great amount of money.”
Naturally, one thing does not rule out the other, Andreas adds: “B2C companies also benefit from a cost optimisation strategy, while the search for customers and business partners is also of strategic importance for B2B companies.”
Yet, Andreas nuances the power of analytics: “It is often believed that data can solve everything. However, this is not the case. An analysis only tells a part of the story. As advice, I will certainly give you this: take your gut feeling into account. If thew data and your feelings do not align, one of the two will not be based on the correct assumptions. Being able to explain why your figures deviate from what people would initially think, is an important requirement in analytics.”