The Covid-19 Economy and Real-time Data
The unprecedented speed of decline in the world economy requires speed of action for your business to survive, and that requires real-time data. The graphics here show the startling decrease in Civilian Employment and Durable Goods Monthly Sales.
The rapid economic plunge is driving rapid changes in businesses as they fight for survival. Weekly and monthly reports arrive too late to inform the business changes that they have to make to survive and recover from the Covid-19 economy changes.
Given the need for immediate changes and close monitoring (cash remaining, collections, inventory, employee health), actionable real-time data is now a necessity to control business change and survival.
What is Real-Time Actionable Data?
Actionable data is business intelligence that gives a clear answer, supported by facts, to the questions your business faces.
Far from the ordinary daily reports that you get by email and save to a folder, actionable data is more likely to be refined data that answers the questions
- What is happening?
- Why is it happening?
- What’s going to happen next?
- What can we do to get a better outcome?
Actionable data is the real information that you use to make business decisions on the critical concerns that are specific to your role in the company, like these:
- Continue, expand, or discontinue a discounted product promotion
- Increase, reduce, or hold steady on raw material stocking levels
- Expand or consolidate distribution facilities
- Revise or retain current pricing on a product line
- Buy or build
- Keep supplier or find a new source
- Extend credit or require payment with order
Real-time data means that the data was contemporary when you received it. You need today’s data, not last week’s data, and not yesterday’s data, but today’s data.
Which Critical Concerns Require Real-Time Data?
Not every business decision requires real-time data. Many concerns that are critical to the success of each leadership role in the company do require real-time data. The table below illustrates four leadership roles that demand actionable real-time data.
|Role||Top Concerns||Example Metrics||Real-Time Data Need|
Days Sales Outstanding
Debt Service Coverage Ratio
|AR and AP|
Sales Account Balances
|CMO||Qualified Lead Generation|
|Lead Yield from Campaigns|
Lead Yield by Lead Source
Customer Acquisition Cost
|Qualified Leads by Lead Source and Campaign|
Closed / Won Opportunities by Lead
Source and Campaign
Average Deal Size
Average Time to Close
Market Basket Mix
Products Sold in Deal
Lost Workday Cases
Community Infection Rates
Practical Applications for Real-Time Data
In addition to the role-based requirements for real-time data, there are many practical examples where actionable real-time data is needed. Markets are reconfiguring on the fly, and customers are looking for new ways to buy.
- Respond quickly to online advertising results, improving marketing spend results
- Cut inventory for products not selling
- Reprice products in an online cart to avoid being cherry-picked
- Revise service where churn is growing to retain customers immediately
- Detect and prevent churn (like Weibull bathtub curve of customer tickets)
- Take advantage of wins and new opportunities – blind items, new markets, new market demands, acquisitions of distressed competitors or assets
- Predict demand accurately and in time to do something about it
Example: Reducing Customer Churn
A Blackstone+Cullen data scientist identified several churn indicators that reliably predicted customer departure for a customer. One of the signals is the number of support cases submitted by the customer.
The number of support cases follows a familiar bathtub-shaped Weibull curve over the lifetime of the customer. Lots of support cases arrive while the customer is getting set up and configured, and then a rise in support cases as the customer outgrows the product or service purchased.
By using real-time data to alert managers on sudden increases in support cases submitted, the customer can use customer outreach to resolve the root issues and retain the customer.
Glimpse Real-Time Interactive Analytical Dashboards
Blackstone+Cullen provides its customers with real-time data from each of their own ERP, CRM, billing, and marketing analytics systems using Glimpse real-time connectors. This service brings real-time data directly to the desktop of the CEO, CMO, CSO, CFO, or other team members.
Blackstone+Cullen’s Glimpse real-time interactive analytical dashboards display data from each of your connected ERP, CRM, billing, and marketing analytics systems. Glimpse offers a complete catalog of pre-built role-based dashboards cover marketing, sales, manufacturing, logistics, finance, and more.
Glimpse dashboards connect to nearly any data source using a library of connectors. The Glimpse dashboards are fully customizable. Glimpse dashboards can cover every business area and make it
possible to use real-time data to respond to the Covid-19 economy effectively.
About the Author
Bruce Brownlee is a data scientist and product manager with an undergraduate math and engineering degree and an operations research graduate degree with a focus on stochastic processes and mathematical optimization. He’s worked as an industrial engineer, software developer, marketing director, data scientist, and product manager across a broad range of industries where analytical skills are required. His special interests include financial modeling and machine learning applications.
Product Manager at Blackstone+Cullen