How analyzing data provides information to drive smart decisions

Everybody’s talking about big data, smart data, smart skinny data. It just makes you want to say, “It’s all noise!”

The thing is — it may sound like noise, but to the right ears, it’s music that can help you make wise business decisions and follow best practices for your company.

As technology advances, it makes sense to combine the efforts that collect data with the experiences of the front-line company representatives who are in touch with the customer. One such company that is developing this process is InfoCision Management Corp.

CIO/CTO Michael White, a 24-year InfoCision veteran, heads a new business unit, business analytics, which comprises veteran employees from key company functions, including operations, marketing, client services and information technology.

“Everyone understands that InfoCision is in the call center business, yet many may not realize that a direct by-product of industry longevity is the massive accumulation of data,” he says. “The business analytics team is focused on using this data to help drive business decisions and best practices.”

Smart Business talked with White about InfoCision’s technology evolution and what it means to the company and its clients.

What has brought about the need for business analytics?

The call center space has become far more complex. Now with the proliferation of cellular, mobile and social media, donor and consumer habits continue to evolve at an unprecedented pace. Understanding trends and quickly customizing marketing plans is vital to our clients.

Data analysis may provide new scientifically based approaches to evaluating marketing and fundraising challenges,

across all channels of communication: direct mail, inbound, outbound, fax, email, chat, SMS/text, video and social media. The data and trend analysis relevant today can help make a better contact tomorrow.

What should you look for from a partner offering business analytics?

Look for a bold statement about the significant value there is in understanding current data trends and applying that knowledge.

The business analytics department at InfoCision has more than 30 members structured within six distinct teams. The groups are focused on marketing tests, trends and innovations; call center trend analysis and scheduling; inbound and outbound call management; performance incentives; and data analysis and delivery.

What do you see as the key focal points in analytics?

1) Collecting past data in a meaningful way. 2) Determining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 3) Making those

KPIs visible to business leaders through various reporting, dashboarding and data visualization techniques. 4) Where desired, performing regression analysis and correlations to forecast the future.

Clients can collaborate with each other, should they choose to do so. If they are concerned about sharing information, look for a privacy statement. InfoCision does not sell, share or make available any of our clients’ data for any purposes. However, we now offer clients the ability to ‘opt-in’ to sharing ‘non-positive’ data — for example, who didn’t answer the phone — with each other.

Instinctively, one would ask why clients would possibly choose to share data. The benefit is to gain insights only available through the power of mass amounts of data. For example, a client making outbound calls that choose to ‘opt-in’ and share data could realize valuable information, such as percentages of the records likely to never answer, reach answering machines or be disconnected.

InfoCision’s ‘opt-in’ data sharing never includes positive data, consumer or donation information.

What about insight into innovation or other matters?

A business analytics department can help an organization analyze, visualize and interpret data based on every key metric the organization is already collecting. The power of those insights becomes greater when you can take that data to provide insights into potential innovations or, equally as valuable, things you want to avoid.

Insights Teleservices is brought to you by InfoCision Management Corp.