The convergence of data and team management for business growth in 2018 and beyond.


Being birthed primarily from a behind-the-scenes outsourcing role, Indian companies in the information technologies space are generally well trained, process oriented, and precisely structured. These are wonderful attributes to have in a traditional BPO/KPO setting, but may lead to an outmoded way of thinking that limits growth, opportunity, and progress. In the days, years, and business revolutions to come, the traditional structure limits the ability of these companies to capitalize on new digital opportunities. Future-forward companies must be proactive, adaptive, eager, and brave to continue to grow and excel in the business climate of tomorrow.
Consider data scientists as an example. While this is one of the fastest growing spaces in business, the data scientists are often seen as an odd bunch. The number crunchers… the brainiacs… the nerds. Pushed off in a dusty section of the office surrounded by illegible white boards full of unintelligible numbers, there is a vision of data scientists being uniquely able to offer data driven insights to other parts of the organization — but innately separate from “normal” business units. This must change. Instead, everyone in the organization needs to understand how to analyze, understand, and act on data. Data analysis needs to be seen as more of a trait and skill, and less of an occupation, job title, or certification.
Transforming an organization into data junkies, like most things, begins with the overall company culture. One key shift is a cultural move towards increased transparency. Data provides answers, but only if it is accurately, promptly, and effectively shared. Smart companies leverage data into actionable insights. However, to do so, there must be a culture of trust and transparency. Accurate bad numbers provide much more value to a business than massaged good numbers. Thus, employees must know that they have the support of managers, clients, and team members alike in their data discovery… wherever it may lead. This requires not only trust, but also effective cross team communication. With this in mind, are you encouraging your employees to be brave with data? Should they share that alarming data point about profitability with their manager, or tuck it away in a corner somewhere, as they don’t want to make any waves? Alongside this transparency and data bravery, comes logical thinking. Data is data and numbers are numbers. Analysis is what brings it all to life. Are you building a team of analysts who apply logical thinking to understand the stories the data is telling them? If no, you really should be.
Once a data-first culture of transparency, trust, and logic is established, perhaps it’s worthwhile to take a step back and understand the business’s fundamental raison d’etre. What are we here we to accomplish? Are we the age-old secret Indian outsourcing arm of global companies? Are we brave visionaries hell bent on making a name for ourselves via breaking business norms, processes, and procedures? We’re likely somewhere in the middle – paying the bills the old way while stretching our arms skyward towards becoming global leaders. With this position comes the dueling responsibility of managing profitability and working towards customer centricity. Margins and efficiencies must be squeezed to maximize profitability, but not at the expense of the customer. However, completely putting the customer first may lead towards an unsustainable business model or a product designed around a customer’s wish list instead of what will actually benefit their business. Here, a balanced approach wins out. We must consider the customer, and grow to be their ethical, transparent business partner in success while simultaneously working towards increased profitability. The good news is that technology is making this easier than ever. From online marketing to team trackers to ROI analysis tools to integration of online and offline sales tracking, data can be tracked more easily and effectively than ever. Once we have, and share, this data across the organization, we can effectively understand profitability factors, customer feedback, and the overall health of the business model…then we can improve it!
Now, and only now that we’ve reviewed our culture and fundamental way of doing business, can we explore the desired skill sets of our team members, whatever organizational role they may have. There are two key soft skills that we see emerging in our business. The first is that everyone needs to be a data storyteller – collecting and listing numbers isn’t enough – it’s important to turn data into meaningful, actionable insights that people understand. From salespeople using search trends or link reports to show a client why they need to market online to operations observing leave trends and taking proactive steps to reduce unexpected leave, data is the beginning of the journey, it’s the responsibility of the team member to understand and communicate it. Data is no longer just for the Analysts. Next, cross-team knowledge is critical to our business. Under the old BPO/KPO model, team members must know one task, and know it well. Forward thinking, this isn’t enough. Marketing is more like a painting and less like an assembly line – when a team member only understands their task they will be missing the bigger picture, new opportunities for the client, and lack understanding of the whole chain. For corporate innovation to happen, everyone must be an innovator. Only by giving a full picture of the company, deliverables, and tasks involved, team members can understand the full business and suggest improvements.
Technology and progress are making this easier, faster, and more affordable. As an overall trend, we are seeing more data, and more precise data. This path will continue, with advancements enabling marketers to view offline and online marketing data side by side with ROI and expense metrics. As this data converges it’s critical management and team members alike can easily understand and act on this data. Creating the tools and processes to ensure this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. While large corporations may require a SAP or Oracle integration, SMBs may do well with Zoho or Salesforce, whereas micro-businesses may do fine with Google Sheets, Excel, or even an old trusty whiteboard. Whatever tools enable data collection and discovery in an efficient and productive manner are the ones that a business should choose. Pick the right team to not just manage, but unlock insights from these tools, and your business will be well positioned in the data driven world of tomorrow.
About the Author
Rob Peck is the Director of Client Services, at O3M. He has sheer expertise in Online marketing and advertising, SEO and SEM. As the Director of Client Services, he helps to connect businesses with their online audiences.
Based in Chennai, India, O3M is a full service digital advertising agency with a track record of success. As one of the India’s leading online advertising agencies, O3M Directional Marketing provides its clients with digital marketing services at a tremendous value proposition.

Related Posts