In the first installment of this column series, I mentioned that one of the issues that the sports industry should address is the consideration of measures based on data. In the future, “data utilization” will hold a big key for the further development of the sports business. This time, I will introduce the importance of data utilization and the points that lead to success. (Text = ABeam Consulting’s manager Yukitaka Takesada, Senior Consultant Kiichi Hirai)
Why is data utilization important?
Data is said to be “the oil of the 21st century” and plays an important driver in the efforts of “AI (Artificial Intelligence)” and “DX (Digital Transformation)”. Data plays a major role in enhancing the sophistication and efficiency of corporate operations, as well as creating new businesses. Considering the current competitive advantage of digital platformers, it is expected that the importance of data utilization will continue to increase in the future.
The social background in which data utilization is becoming more important is due to the declining population, declining birthrate and aging population, a decrease in the labor force, concerns about labor shortages, and the loss of knowledge and know-how due to the aging of skilled engineers. there is something In addition, various data accompanying technological innovations including hardware and software can be acquired in large amounts and in real time, and furthermore, the evolution of algorithms will make it possible to solve even problems that were previously unsolvable in a short time and with less labor. .
Against this background, it is inevitable that the importance of accelerating the use of data will increase in the future, and efforts by companies to utilize data cannot be avoided.
According to the Information and Communications White Paper
surveyed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2020, the types of data used in corporate activities include customer data, accounting data, business diary data, e-mails, and access logs. Most of the data is written in numbers and symbols, but it is packed with hints to expand the value of your business by reading and deciphering the data.
(Source) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2020) “Survey Research on the Current Status of Measuring and Utilizing the Economic Value of Digital Data”
Advantages of data utilization
What are the benefits of using data for companies? Here are 3 points.
1. Correct understanding of the current situation
“Facts” are necessary to grasp the current situation of a company. For example, the fact that “the number of customers has decreased” can only be found by collecting data. In addition, it is possible to grasp the cause by searching for the relationship with the collected data other than the number of customers. A great advantage of data utilization is that we can correctly understand the current situation as a preliminary step to making decisions and dealing with issues. 2.
Business expansion and new business creation
By obtaining new discoveries and suggestions from data, it will be possible to maximize profits and realize new businesses that could not be implemented before. One example is a “recommendation system” that displays products that customers may be interested in by referring to their purchase history on EC sites. By utilizing data, it is possible to recommend the products that existing customers want at the desired time, and by approaching new customers, it is possible to expect an increase in revenue.
In recent years, there has also been an acceleration in the movement to circulate the data collected in-house to other companies. For example, JR East is developing a service that compiles usage data for Suica, a transportation IC, into statistics within the company and sells them to local governments and private companies
. In this way, it will be possible to develop new businesses using data such as tourism measures along railway lines and utilization for regional revitalization using station usage data. *JR East Station Chart: https://www.jreast.co.jp/suica/corporate/suicadata/eki-karte.html
Speed up decision-making
When data was not being used, especially in businesses involving many stakeholders, it took time to make decisions because the data was partially used but past experience and intuition were taken into consideration when considering and making decisions. Was. However, in today’s fast-moving market, “speedy decision-making” is required. By utilizing data, it becomes possible to make speedy decision-making based on facts from an objective point of view.
Points that lead to successful data utilization
Next, we introduce five points that will lead to successful promotion of data utilization.
1. Clear strategy and goal setting
If data is collected without a clear strategy or purpose, it will be meaningless data collection without knowing how to use it. Rather than having the idea that “data utilization is popular, let’s collect data for the time being”, first clearly define what you want to achieve, organize the data necessary for that purpose, and then collect, visualize, and analyze the data. It is a major premise to implement
2. Collecting “correct” data
It is to acquire the correct data that suits the purpose. For example, when we want to find the player population of a certain sport, first of all, the definition of “player” is important. This is because it is thought that there are various ways to relate to sports, such as full-fledged athletes, people who enjoy it on weekends as leisure, and people who enjoy it incidentally as part of their leisure.
Also, do you know the phrase “Garbage In, Garbage Out”? It is a concept that even if you put meaningless data, it will only produce meaningless results. Similarly, in data utilization, even if poor quality data is used, the expected results cannot be obtained. Therefore, it is important to obtain highly accurate data to be used. It is also necessary to consider what data is necessary to achieve the strategy and purpose, and to continuously check whether the correct data is being collected based on the analysis results even during utilization.
Assignment of groups (organizations) and personnel to promote data utilization
Data utilization is not something that can be done on your own. We recommend that you decide the group and person in charge to promote and proceed responsibly. In the early stages of utilization, there is no problem even if individuals proceed with data utilization, but when the results of data utilization become visible, the burden on the person in charge increases. Eventually, the amount of work becomes too much for one person in charge to handle, and the person in charge becomes exhausted and falls into a vicious cycle in which the work never ends.
Therefore, when utilizing data, it is important to define a group (organization) to promote and promote data utilization by multiple persons in charge. When handling data that includes personal information, strict management is required from the viewpoint of legal compliance as well as business promotion efficiency.
In order to promote data utilization, it is necessary to have the ability to handle data, but it is not always necessary to have human resources who can perform advanced data analysis (so-called data scientists). We believe that the skills necessary for promotion are data science, communication, and business understanding. Data science does not require people who can analyze data by programming, it is a skill that can read and interpret data correctly, as well as data processing and visualization necessary to solve problems from data. Regarding communication and business understanding, data utilization is often implemented upon request from other departments. You need the skills to understand your business.
Mind and Understanding of Surroundings
Data utilization is not only for data users, but also for each employee to deepen their understanding, learn about current technological developments and the businesses of each company using that technology, understand the importance of data utilization, and enable data utilization by all members of the company. It is important to become It is also important not only to think about the business in front of you, but also to imagine the future business of your company and what you want it to be, and think about the necessary data and how to use the data.
There is no one correct way to use data. Data can also become obsolete over time. For this reason, it is necessary to have an agile way of thinking that allows maintenance and review in a short period of time through trial and error. Some readers may think that if you use data, you will get immediate results. Data utilization requires a certain amount and type of data, as well as time to process and analyze the data, so it takes time to get results. It is not a failure because there is no result after one year, but it is necessary to make continuous decisions from a medium- to long-term perspective.
Checks by external experts
The most important thing is to be able to use data within the company. One of the points is to have external experts check it periodically. By having external specialized universities and companies check the status of data utilization within the company and obtaining appropriate advice, it is possible to find better ways to utilize data. For this reason, I would like you to build a relationship that allows you to communicate with a reliable partner on a daily basis.
Data utilization for CX reform
At our company, we use data in formulating strategies and planning measures to improve the relationship between companies and customers through CX (customer experience) reforms.
In the sports world as well, data utilization is effective in understanding customers when considering strategies and measures for popularizing sports and expanding the number of athletes. From the point of view of the sports business, the popularization of sports means that when the sports themselves are viewed as a single “merchandise”, the customers who are the target of popularization can enjoy the sports throughout their lives. To that end, understanding the customer’s entire life stage, grasping the timing of the start and departure, and grasping what is happening at that time will be effective suggestions when considering strategies and measures.
As an example, we introduce an example of data utilization in strategic planning for the popularization of golf.
A market survey was conducted with the aim of understanding customers in order to formulate a strategy for popularization. In this survey, customers were divided into three categories: repeaters, dropouts (those who quit golf), and inexperienced golfers.
・Main data acquired
Common to golfers: Points of contact with golf in childhood and working adults, etc.
Continuing person: Reason for starting golf, point of contact with golf until golf round debut, purpose of playing golf, etc.
Withdrawal: Motivation for starting golf, reason for withdrawal, factors preventing return, etc.
Inexperienced people: Reasons for not playing golf, images and values of golf
Based on the suggestions obtained from these survey results, we organized points of contact with golf for each customer category. First, we created a customer journey with each customer’s motivation for golf as a barometer, and visualized changes in each customer’s sense of distance from golf and what problems occurred at the timing of contact with golf. As a result, we were able to prioritize targets to focus on with a common understanding of customers among all parties concerned and consider measures based on them.
By utilizing data in this way, it becomes possible to understand the customer’s issues based on the facts, and to consider which measures are effective for which customers, at what timing.
Data utilization steps
So where should we start using data?
As shown in the “Data utilization steps” below, the first thing to do is to understand the issues faced by companies and organizations. Among them, the problems that can be solved by data utilization and their priority are organized, and themes that can be solved are set.
Next, formulate a hypothesis about the cause of the problem, and organize the data necessary to prove the hypothesis. When collecting organized data, not all data will be collected, but first of all, the collected data will be visualized and analyzed. On the other hand, the data that was not collected may exist in the company but was not in a state where it can be used, or it may not have existed in the company. The data that was not collected will be necessary to solve future problems and will be an important asset for each company, so it would be a good idea to continue to consider how it can be collected.
Suggestions and measures are proposed from the results of data visualization and analysis. And if the problem cannot be solved, it is important to clarify the cause and make use of it for future data utilization.
Finally, the first step in data utilization is to start with what you can do. When doing so, be sure to set a goal. This is because, although it is important to set big goals, we give priority to producing small successes as we move forward, and the accumulation of those small successes eventually leads to the achievement of big goals. Data utilization is an initiative that takes time and effort to produce results, but I would like you to work on it from a medium- to long-term perspective.
Sponsored by: ABeam Consulting
■ Homepage: https://www.abeam.com/jp/Contact: https://www.abeam.com/jp/ja/contact_jp