Checklist for Evaluating Companies’ Analytics Culture

Special thanks for this section to Professor Daniel Egger and Duke University, who provide this valuable information to the public for free! While Professor Daniel Egger suggests utilizing this tool as a diagnostic measure, it can also be thought of as a list of best practices for companies looking to embrace the data analytics culture.

The checklist should be evaluated based upon the classification scheme shown below.

Analytics Culture Product Companies Service Companies
Very Good 16 or more 10 or more
Good 14-15 8-9
Passing 11-13 7
Lagging 10 or less 6 or less

Products & Services Companies

  1. Available mobile version of website with rapid load times in all markets. This may involve utilizing Content Delivery Networks for caching to reduce load times, which should be less than 2 seconds
  2. Tracking of website visitors' full click stream, which includes the exact path through the website and time spent at each point.
  3. Define website conversion in two ways. First, individuals register and provide name and email. Second, they become revenue generating customers. This is known as "voluntary registration" and "first sale."
  4. Ongoing A/B testing of site features to optimize both forms of conversion identified in item 3.
  5. Understand how to achieve and maintain a high Google Adrank.
  6. Know the max price per click-through for web advertising that is profitable. This involves having estimates for FLV (Future Lifetime Value) of a new customer, click-through rates, and conversion-to-revenue rates.
  7. Give customers a reason to interact with the company between store visits. This may include real time online promotional offers based on a preference analysis of their web and purchase history.
  8. Track all customer interactions (sales, complaints, support calls, returns, web interactions) by a single customer id in a database. This information should be available on a just-in-time basis for Company representatives interacting with customers.
  9. Identify and implement recurring revenue opportunities such as value added membership and loyalty programs. Examples include Costco memberships or Amazon Prime.
  10. Point-of-Sale customization, including coupons for additional products/services aimed at a customer's past purchase interests.
  11. Develop incentives for high-spending customers. The Las Vegas terminology is "Whales."
  12. Track churn rates and follow up with customers who have not interacted with the company for a given time period.
  13. Offer price reduction and promotion programs to sell wasting inventory. Especially complex examples are hotel rooms and airline seats.

Products Only

  1. Allow customers to see what is on the shelf in their local store while online. This should include both images and prices.
  2. Allow customers to order ahead of time, with subsequent pick up at a physical store.
  3. Provide same-day or less deliveries from the nearest store. This will probably involve third-party shopping and delivery services.
  4. Track all SKUs at the store level to prevent excessive inventory from building up.
  5. Track all zero-inventory items to eliminate the opportunity cost of future lost sales.
  6. Vary inventory levels for individual items by store, region, and season to find an appropriate balance between minimizing inventory/wastage and running out of stock.

Services Only

  1. Make sure that services are delivered at least as fast as online competitors.

This content is taken from my notes on the Coursera course “Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies.” It is sponsored by Duke University and the course content is presented by Professor Daniel Egger.