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Business Insights from Analytics

T.C. Seow | Sept. 27, 2011
No longer an exclusive subject of data experts, business analytics is gaining enough traction to warrant a closer look by CXOs.

To overcome this problem, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance of Korea, the country's largest non-life insurer, uses analytics for fraud detection and prevention. It has built a system that prevents claims fraud and improves premium payment processing, thereby protecting its profitable customers.



Apart from banks and insurance companies, businesses in the hospitality line have also begun using analytics to not just improve customer service but to predict consumption and spending patterns. Speaking at the conference, Rom Hendler, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of Las Vegas Sands (LVS), shared that analytics is being used for coming up with different marketing and operational areas for scheduling, planning and all the way to purchasing. The aim is to optimise resources and to develop a robust mechanism for, say, ensuring LVS's pricing policy is acceptable to its distribution channels and in line with the market.

The Las Vegas Sands loyalty program, Grazie, encourages customers to charge everything to their rooms - gaming, meals, even spa treatments and shows. The company uses analytics to turn volumes of detailed information about interactions and purchases into meaningful insights so they can better segment and target customers. 

When LVS began rolling out its innovative profit optimisation approach, it combined revenue management, sales and marketing, and CRM to more clearly understand individual customer profitability. An early benefactor of the approach, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, needed to make sense of the many points of data generated as customers enjoyed the convention centre, hotel, shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, entertainment, museum and casino. Payback from its integrated approach has been significant. Using SAS for Patron Value Optimisation and hotel revenue optimisation software from IDeaS, a SAS company, Marina Bay Sands analyses data, aligns distribution channels with pricing, and allocates inventory to benefit its most profitable customers. By coordinating pricing strategies with guest satisfaction efforts, Marina Bay Sands is keeping occupancy up and room rates profitable in each season. 


Meaningful Data

The time is ripe for organisations to move into analytics, said Gavin Michael, chief technology innovation officer at Accenture. "The big reason is the explosion of data, and analytics is about deriving new information to help organisations meet future challenges," he said. "They're starting to realise insights inside the data and also outside of it - like social media. Analytics is about creating an environment for this data to generate insights or new knowledge." 

However, simply expecting data analytics to work its magic is fallacy. Businesses must work towards breaking down silos of data that can be meaningfully shared amongst the various departments. That means ensuring that the data is of value. It is not just about technology, said Michael, adding that it is also a business issue. IT and business must work together to see how they can create new ways to retrieve, analyse and deduce new information, he said.


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