AIMAnalytics India Magazine: What are some of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of analytics approach and policies at Hoopos?
SGSudarshan Gangrade: Analytics is approached as being an inherent part of business. We work with almost all business functions directly with the clear goal to solve business problems. We also aim to enable the business managers to lead analytics for their functions. Our engineering team has thus created a portal where all the functions have real time access to any report they want to view. Similarly, for any analytics solution that we build, we try to create a tool and train the user, so that the manager can then analyse themselves on a continuous basis.
AIM: Please brief us about some business solutions you work on and how you derive value out of it.
SG: We work across functions: with the online marketing team to optimize the digital marketing spends; with the category team on inventory management, range selection, pricing strategy, with the operations team to improve delivery time and optimize delivery costs; with the marketing team for sales planning and promotion effectiveness.
AIM: Please brief us about the size of your analytics division and what is hierarchal alignment, both depth and breadth.
SG: We have a lean team consisting of a core team of 2 people, liaisoning with the various business functions. We separately have the Business Intelligence architect in the engineering side who helps create the data structures and views.
AIM: Would you like to share any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?
SG: We worked with the operations team to understand the end to end process from consumer placing an order to it getting shipped from our warehouse. Using a combination of time-motion studies and detailed mapping of the processes, we were able to refine the internal processes. This led to a reduction in processing time by about 20% from the day we implemented the new systems!
SG: Today, there is a good understanding and need for analytics that organizations feel. However, one of the biggest challenges faced is lack of talent that can talk and work closely with business functions. That is the only way analytics can permeate within organizations successfully.
AIM: Customer data collection process is still in a very nascent stage in India. How do you see this evolving in the near future?
SG: Data collection in the online space will continue to face challenges in the near future given the nascent stage that Indian online consumer behaviour is at. The challenge further is that there is no historical data to be able to extrapolate the offline consumer behaviour data to online behaviour. Having said that, with the kind of advanced web analytics tools today available, ecommerce companies will do well to build their own understanding of shoppers by tying browsing behaviour directly with end conversion data.
AIM: What do you suggest to new graduates aspiring to get into analytics space?
SG: While you could get away with some amount of general skills 3 years back, today the demand is for specialization. So, make sure you build specialized skills in some part of analytics – be it usage of tools, reporting, statistical techniques, domain expertise etc. Also, try to always solve an analytics problem from the client’s point of view, whose sole aim is to use the insights to solve a business problem.