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Big Data, Big Innovation: Enabling Competitive Differentiation through Business Analytics by Evan Stubbs

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Part ThreeMaking It Real

Culture is essential. so is capability. Creating or reinventing an organization is fraught with risk. Rather than guess, it’s always better to take advantage of other people’s mistakes and build on the fundamentals. While we’ll cover it in more detail in Chapter 8, innovation is actually conceptually easy. There’s an idea, there’s a plan, and there’s action. Getting the design right means making sure that the structure and operating model fit within that framework.

Having said that, no plan leaves the battlefield unscathed. It is possible, however, to increase the odds of success as long as you know what you’re trying to achieve. Few examples demonstrate the importance of continual self-assessment better than that of James.a

James came from a background in economics. His ability to blend theory with practice led to rapid advancement, quickly moving from driving tactical efficiencies in customer contact management to owning the organization’s customer strategy.

Reporting directly to the chief marketing officer, James had been put in charge of:

  • Increasing products per customer
  • Improving margin
  • Raising customer satisfaction (measured through Net Promoter Score)

Like many leaders, James looked internally and externally for inspiration. Internally, James found that his organization was severely underutilizing their data assets. While there was no shortage of people with great ideas, few of those ideas made it into practice. In many ways, James was lucky; ...

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