EKEron Kar: We are a 360 degree Data Science Company, and analytics is one of the key pillars of our organization. We have a holistic approach towards analytics, which ensures that we cover multiple sources of data – be it traditional data in the form of transactional data, demographic and research data, or “new” data in the form of unstructured data from social media and other sources. We believe that Analytics is both an art and science, and thus give substantial importance to domain expertise in our client engagements. Being the largest and fastest growing offshore marketing services company with a global footprint, we have a special focus on emerging areas of marketing; including digital marketing and social media. As a consequence, our analytics services cover not only traditional customer and marketing analytics, but are also focused around new areas like big data, social media, real time analytics, etc.
AIM: Please brief us about some business solutions you work on and how you derive value out of it.
EK: Analytics services at blueocean market intelligence are delivered on varied kinds of business solutions across domains, and across functions. Our key focus is on the BFSI, CPG & Retail, Technology and Telecom spaces. A snapshot of our services across domains is given below.
We also work across auto & manufacturing, entertainment, healthcare and hospitality sectors.
We have been working on some cutting-edge analytics application including visual data analytics, sports analytics, streaming data (Big Data) real time analytics.
AIM: How does a typical requirement gathering to delivery cycle look like for you?
EK: Requirement gathering to delivery cycle varies and depends on the kind of engagement and scope of work. The cycle starts with a discovery phase and ends with a steady state run phase for our clients.
AIM: Please brief us about the size of your analytics division and its hierarchal alignment, both depth and breadth.
EK: Our belief is that exemplary analytics services can be provided by bringing the art and the science together; we combine technique and domain expertise. As a specialized data science and marketing services provider, analytics has always been a part of our services’ DNA since the early days of our launch. We have been delivering analytics solutions across different domains and teams for different clients, right from the beginning. Today, we have over 100 analysts across different verticals in the organization.
We have people from diverse areas of expertise ranging from Big Data and Statistics, to Language experts. In the Analytics division, we have a very flat structure for Data Scientists and Business Consultants to enable a free flow of knowledge and expertise.
AIM: Would you like to share any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?
EK: We have worked on many assignments which have resulted in a huge impact for our clients – both from an ROI and insights perspective. An example is that of a Fortune 500 Technology major for which we created a huge impact on their bottom-line by designing, implementing, measuring and monitoring their social media strategy over a period of a couple of years. This obviously involved an extensive use of social media analytics solutions and services.
In another case, we are supporting our client for customer acquisition using traditional transactional data sources and social media data. This is a unique example of using both traditional data and “new” data for customer acquisition.
AIM: Do you think it’s possible to become too married to the data that comes out of analytics? Where do you draw the line?
EK: We believe in analytics being a combination of art and science and that there is an overlap which is grey. We try our best to inculcate this as an acquired skill. Our team of data scientists is the best judge on where to draw the line and put on the business consultants’ hat. In most cases, this is enabled through the collaboration of our data scientists and business consultants.
AIM: What are a few things that organizations should be doing with their analytics efforts that most don’t do today?
EK: Most companies are driven to analytics due to pressure and to ensure that the data that is being generated internally or externally is used to drive business decisions. Instead of that being the starting point, we should begin by asking what business challenges are being currently faced by the company, and how analytics can help solve them.
In today’s digital age, customer insights can be obtained from multiple touch points. Along with the enterprise data, there are channels varying from CCTV cameras, call center recordings to social media. Organizations should tap the opportunity of generating actionable insights from this vast data source through analytics.
P.R.O.M.P.T., a six-step composite framework designed by blueocean market intelligence, highlights the key prerequisites that make Big Data relevant in today’s business environment. This has been discussed by Durjoy Patranabish- Senior Vice President at length in his webinar accessible here
AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of the analytics space?
EK: Today, analytics is more technology-driven than it was earlier. Technology as we know is changing and evolving at a blistering pace, shaping our lives as well as businesses. It’s a pretty well accepted fact that analytics will be an inevitable tool of choice for decision-making, for times to come. However, given the rapid change in technology, aspects of analytics also undergo a change at an accelerated pace. Therefore, the most significant challenge for analytics would be to keep up with the constantly changing face of businesses, and to stay relevant at the same time.
AIM: How did you start your career in analytics?
EK: In the earlier days of my career, the word analytics was unheard of. Most of the analysis was statistical in nature, and carried out by market research companies on smaller sets of data. I stepped into the world of statistical analysis in one such company, and eventually moved on to work with organizations in India which were at the forefront of analytics.
AIM: What do you suggest to new graduates aspiring to get into analytics space?
EK: Analytics has grown as a career option with a wider scope with regard to choices – one can have different career options within the analytics space. There are several opportunities to grow as a consultant, data scientist, big data expert or BI expert. Each of these fields require people with skill sets in varied fields. However, the common trait that aspiring analytics professionals need to cultivate is an extremely strong penchant for numbers and number crunching, and an even stronger desire to see the story/pattern in numbers which are relevant to business.
AIM: What kind of knowledge worker do you recruit and what is the selection methodology? What skill sets do you look at while recruiting in analytics?
EK: We are very selective in our recruitment process and hence our typical conversion ratio is around 10%. While technical, mathematical and statistical skills are the base requirements, we prefer people who have strong logical and out-of-the-box thinking capabilities. We primarily recruit two kinds of people – business consultants who bring in the “art”, and data scientists who bring in the “science”.
AIM: How do you see Analytics evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important contemporary trends that you see emerging in the Analytics space across the globe?
EK: Analytics by itself will increasingly gain more importance in all aspects of life, including business. However, with the field undergoing a constant process of evolution, ensuring relevance will be crucial. Some of the recent trends indicate organizations increasing their focus on big data, its access and application in order to derive incremental insights. Another key trend observed is the importance placed on real time and predictive analytics, rather than static business intelligence.