In my previous blog, I introduced the power of understanding your process to make improvements and increase productivity. This hack is especially important to be an expert—and make decisions based on that expertise.

My second of four data-driven hacks relates to talent. Finding it. Leveraging it. Repeating as needed.

Hack No. 2: Accessing Talent to Dig into Data

Once you have your process mapped out (hack No. 1), you can start to leverage the real-time data at each step it takes to get to Point B.

I remember back when I was hired for a project with a major grocery chain. When we mapped out the process of the shopping experience, we were able to identify exactly how consumers were navigating the store. In the process, we identified two important pieces of the customer journey:

  1. When a customer would head to the register to check-out.
  2. When a customer would abandon their cart.

These two pieces of core insights and analytics were what we needed to help increase the store’s revenue by millions each month. Tracking when people would head to the check-out, helped us time when to put more cashiers at the registers in real time. This reduced wait time, lowered abandoned cart rates, and ultimately increased the bottom line.

But the only reason we were able to pull this off was because we were external talent that didn’t play an internal role in the organization of the grocery chain.

When you’re part of your own organization and only communicate with your internal team, it creates a myopic viewpoint, which limits how you translate data and what you do with the data.

That’s why it’s so important to find talent that sits outside of your organization to help dig for the insights. To predict the future based on your real-time data, you need someone who specializes in data analytics. Someone who can take a non-biased look at your process. If you don’t have an in-house data scientist, then invest in someone who has specialized subject matter expertise that can turn the influences that you identified into insights that can move the needle.

There are many resources available such as Upwork, where you can hire contract talent, and Kaggle, where you gain access to data scientists who will compete to help solve your problem. With a plethora of talent at your fingertips, you must be willing to go beyond your internal structure to contract experts who will deliver insights to help you better refine your process.

The 2016 Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey found that accessing outside talent “has the ability to deliver tangible benefits for savvy organizations,” and is being used to create innovative value within the company.

Taking Action Now

Again, start simple and seek out external talent to aid you. You need research to back up your points. And you need outside viewpoints to identify what you can’t see yourself. Leverage low-cost sub-contractors to work when you need them on the projects that are most important.

Not sure how to hire the best? Start by sifting through ratings, which most sites have, to help you make an intelligent choice. Find the right person, then get your work done. You have to get used to pulling in talent from the outside and then letting the talent go when the project is over. If you have a bigger budget, look at bigger consulting, data, and analytic firms that have a track record of success.

The point is: You need to get subject matter experts outside the four walls of your organization and work with them to create valuable insights for your organization using the real-time data that you collect at the specific points of your process from Point A to Point B.

Okay, you now have two data-driven hacks to get your organization moving in the right direction. The digital direction. Next time, I’ll introduce hack No. 3: How Can You Rely on a Diverse Listening Infrastructure? Add comments below about your experience collecting insightful data.


Joseph M. Bradley

Global Vice President

Digital & IoT Advanced Services