Andrew Wiseman looks at the raison d’être behind data analytics.

This is probably the first (and last) time that I’ve used a Daft Punk song title as the name of a blog, but it seemed a wholly appropriate title for the subject at hand.

As a relatively new business, we often get asked to describe what it is we actually do – what does our brand headline expect more from data actually mean? Often, the easiest answer to that question is to respond with a ‘we make your data work harder’. But do we? Is harder the right adjective, or is it about something else?

In meetings and discussions with clients and prospects, one thing that quickly becomes apparent is that data is working hard in many organisations, the question being whether the data is working hard on the right things. We’ve seen teams of analysts working flat-out on creating the latest set of numbers to input into some form of dashboard or balanced scorecard for the board of directors, with them often questioning the amount of value that these numbers create.

At Honeycomb, we have something that we call the ‘shiny list’. This is typically a load of great ideas that we’ll work on when time allows, and when we talk about shiny lists with clients, they’re pretty quick to admit that when they commission us on a project, they’re giving us their shiny list. Obviously, this is great for us, but you can almost observe the sadness that they’re having to give away the ‘cool’ stuff so that they can deliver ‘business as usual’.

So, rather than working harder, we believe that data needs to work differently. This could be working smarter (the other ‘easy’ explanation we get dragged into), better, faster or more effectively. For us, working differently means adding additional insight to what the organisation already has, so that it can improve customer relationships, develop a better brand or design new propositions and processes.

There are no hard and fast rules – each organisation we speak to has their own set of unique challenges: where they are on their data journey, their business challenges and opportunities, their appetite for using data to drive some kind of advantage in the market. This is where our data audit service comes in. We discuss what you’re currently doing with your data, what you’d like it to do and assess the data that you already have. From this, we can provide workable solutions to help you expect more from data. If this sounds like you, we’d be delighted to chat!

Now, let’s find a blog where I can use ‘One More Time’ or ‘Get Lucky’ as the title…