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Volume 21 No. 35
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Vital signs of business intelligence

Russell Scibetti

Being involved in the data side of the business over the past decade in property and consulting roles, it’s been exciting to see how the adoption of analytics has changed. What started out with teams looking to hire their first “data person” has evolved into dedicated business intelligence departments, new ways to integrate systems, and an overall increase in the volume, use and trust of data.


Despite this evolution and in order to keep advancing, organizations need a comprehensive approach to their business intelligence efforts based around a strong understanding of capabilities, priorities and opportunities. When we work with our customers, our approach focuses on seven key areas:


1. Organizational structure

There’s a reason why when people use the phrase “people, process and product” that people comes first. You need staff with the right skills reporting to the right people with strong cross-departmental alignment and executive support to be positioned for success. For organizations that struggle filling these roles, there are schools graduating qualified candidates, but with the increase in demand for these skills, salaries may need to rise to compete.


2. Alignment with priorities

There is so much data and technology that you must be very focused on what you prioritize, and that should be driven by your revenue breakdown and the systems in your control to identify quick wins and where you have the most upside. I recently saw one organization that spent a disproportionate amount of their analyst’s time on point-of-sale analysis, which represented less than 5 percent of gross revenue, compared to ticketing, which represented over 60 percent.


3. Revenue generation processes


You can have all the data in the world, but unless you can bring that data into your sales and retention processes, make it accessible and actionable by staff, use relevant, up-to-date scoring models, and actively monitor your pipeline, then the data isn’t going to be of much help. One tactic we’ve seen great success with is taking complex lead-scoring and behavioral data and creating simple, embedded snapshots that managers can use for better segmentation and staff can use to tailor each fan conversation.


4. Operational marketing and efficiency

Beyond direct revenue generation, all your internal processes and marketing tactics should leverage your data for automation, lead generation, personalized communications and overall efficiency. Work done by your insights team should create time and cost saving for other departments.


5. Technology stack

There are no shortages of products to purchase, but there are several key platforms such as CRM, data warehousing, marketing automation, data visualization, mobile, point of sale and more that need to be selected, maintained and integrated. All changes to existing technology platforms should have data collection as a key selection criteria.


6. Reporting and analysis

Notice I didn’t use the word “analytics.” You need to start with accurate, fast and reliable reports before anything else — first descriptive, then predictive, and eventually prescriptive. Some of the most critical insights can come from the simplest calculation, like conversion rates, fan engagement or ticket yield. Deeper levels of analysis and more predictive modeling make those insights interactive and available to more staff.


7. Your view of the fan

This only comes at the end of my list because of how much it relies on the previous six, which also makes it the most challenging to achieve. We have so many ways to capture fan data, it’s easy to end up with semi-synonymous versions of the same person or worse, having no information about a large percentage of your fans and attendees. Make sure all systems are aligned to identify, consolidate and enhance the view of every fan to personalize their experience, make better decisions and generate the greater return on your efforts.


Taking a good look across these seven areas, can identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that drive both short-term tactics and long-term strategy.


Russell Scibetti is president of KORE Planning & Insights.