PRPrahallad Rout: We are committed to excellence in every function of our business involving people, knowledge, innovation and technology to provide our customers with products and services of the highest quality. Our approach is built on the principle to keep things simple and graceful and add complexity only as necessity.
AIM: Please brief us about some business solutions you work on and how you derive value out of it.
PR: We largely cater to Market Research domain and our solutions are relevant to that. Analytics for understanding consumer behavior related to brand usage and attitudes, advertising effectiveness tracking, price-elasticity, trial and adoption of products and services, understanding preferences through choice modeling and trade-offs, segmentation and profiling of target groups, identification of key-drivers at category and brand level are the broad areas we work on. We also offer online score-carding and data visualization tools and techniques, creation and maintenance of normative datasets as well as smart data acquisition and conversion processes.
Our deep domain experience and understanding of Indian MR landscape help our clients to work with us in great comfort and ease at very competitive prices.
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AIM: Please brief us about the size of your analytics division and what is hierarchical alignment, both depth and breadth.
PR: A team of 20 Analysts and Developers are on our rolls besides our strategic tie-ups with highly experienced MR industry professionals who are having expertise in verticals like Healthcare, BFSI, Retailing, CPG etc. These professionals are on our panel and they work on specific projects which need deep dives and runs for a longer timeframe. That way we optimally manage overheads to remain competitive for our clients. In some of the assignments our Analysts take up a Project Manager’s role and closely supervise few tasks offloaded to our vendors.
AIM: Would you like to share any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?
PR: In a recent work we delivered to one of our clients in BFSI segment the insights provided by us helped them to optimize average customer acquisition expenses by 18%. Also, they could fine tune and re-position their loyalty program with an increased efficiency of 4%.
AIM: Is the information being gained by analytics impacting boardroom decisions or business strategies at all? If so how?
PR: Yes, definitely. Analytics driven insights are driving decisions more than ever and every decision maker today prefers a data-driven approach than mere guts. Many hunch-driven corporate wish lists are passing thru the test of Analytics to validate initiation of activities. More and more so called small-ticket activities are also been brought under the Analytics scanner.
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?
PR: Drawing a line definitely invites the relevant subjective pieces to come in. Balance between long and short term goals or other trade-off considerations towards commitment levels to adhere to are key factors besides data coming out of analytics.
AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of analytics space
PR: Right-mix of statistics and quantitative techniques with in-depth understanding of subject aspirations and behavior is the key challenge. Grooming and retaining professionals with this blend and also remaining competitive in pricing quality insights services is getting more difficult by the day.
AIM: What do you suggest to new graduates aspiring to get into analytics space?
PR: If you missed chances to get involved into the complete chain of Insights generation process; please try to grab one first and then complete many having different objectives and spaces. For India, Infrastructure, Retail and Healthcare are very big and relevant to grow with and I’m sure the entire business dynamics in these verticals will go through loads of analytics experiment.
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?
PR: We are largely focused to MR analytics and therefore people having some understanding in MR processes/techniques carry some priority. Our selection methodology is based on Logical and Numerical abilities along with other service business soft-skills. Statistics, Economics and Psychology with Maths along with Computer programming knowledge are the subject areas we ideally prefer our candidates from.
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?
PR: Integration of purchase behavior with web behavior and social media is a contemporary trend that I see emerging in the Analytics space across the globe. Ability to match online data with the offline data is been felt as a critical factor in insight generation processes. Databases generated out of web-based interactions and mobile devices are been used more for quick and cost-efficient analytical drills thereby triggering the evolution of fully integrated next generation databases.
AIM: Anything else you wish to add?
PR: Significant evolution in database structures, increasing internet and smart phone penetration have all contributed to a rapid evolution in both market research and market analytics. Resulting availability of information, and the increasing demand by business to use information to increase marketing efficiency, drives the two disciplines of research and analytics closer and closer together. Also, I observe a significant shortfall of manpower skills in India who are adequately capable to establish rational linkages between market realities and hardcore statistical methods to build right stories.