Great Opportunity to Learn about Data Analytics

The Truth Behind Data Analytics Conference
October 30, Arcadian Court, Toronto
You’ve got the data, now what? Cut through the clutter and translate your findings into actionable insights that drive your business objectives.
Learn from companies who have mastered the use of data analytics including, Aimia, BlackBerry Ltd., Canada Post Digital Delivery Network, Customer Intelligence Group, Environics Analytic and the National Basketball Associations.
Discover the truth.  Reserve Your Tickets or call 416-487-5932.
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3 things to NOT do this year

I love lists. I love making them, I love checking them off, and I love the New Year as it is rife with top ten lists of everything. Lists are a nice, neat and concise way to sum up what we have accomplished, what we need to do and what we should avoid doing. This post concentrates on the latter.

Unless you subscribe to the apocolyptic Mayan view of 2012; in which case you should be ticking off your own bucket list and/or stocking up on canned goods and bottled water and not wasting precious time reading blogs; the following are 3 things I hope you do not do in 2012.

  1. Do Nothing

In challenging and uncertain economies it is very tempting to hunker down and do nothing. However, the “nobody moves and nobody gets hurt” philosophy is untrue and if you think you are holding steady, you are not. Change is the only constant and if you are not moving forward, your competitors are which makes you vulnerable to loss of market and opportunity. It is scary to invest in a bad economy but that is exactly when you need to do so the most. When dollars are scarce, the competition is fierce and you need the best people, products, marketing and sales initiatives that you can afford. If your ideas are great in a good economy they are great in a bad one and those who hesitate are lost

      2. Do everything

 Just as some of us are prone to freeze like deer caught in a headlight, others deal with uncertainty like the proverbial chicken without his head. Constant movement is great for your waistline but will wreak havoc on your bottom line. Trying to do everything at once without a cohesive and strategic plan is never a good idea and it is a really terrible one in tough times. When the economy is uncertain, you need to be very certain and have the discipline to follow your strategy and build on your strengths. The economy will recover but you won’t if you dilute your brand and waste resources on initiatives that are short-sighted, off-message and not your core strength.

    3. Do Anything

 Doing anything is almost worst than doing nothing. Hard times and bad news compel us to action but action in itself is not a solution. If you are in a position where you are willing to do anything to help your business, you have bigger problems than the current economy. Desperate times do not call for desperate measures. On the contrary, they require thoughtful analysis of the problems and strategic and sound planning of the solutions. Recessions rarely kill businesses but merely culls the already weak and crippled ones. Rather than moving ahead with half-baked ideas, use this year to fix the underlying problems which will enable you to ride out this recession and future ones.



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Are you spending enough time with the badly dressed people?

On the (not so) rare occasion when I find myself regretting a wardrobe choice, I mentally repeat a comforting mantra taken from John Paul Gauthier’s observation that “it is always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting”. In such a context, the designer’s words may be a tad too “Stuart Smalley” but there is a useful lesson to be gleaned from the witticism.

We often think of visionaries as having the ability to see into the future but most often they see existing opportunities that have been overlooked by others. The ability to identify potential in unlikely places is key to developing your competitive advantage. Do you maximize opportunities with clients, products, service offerings and talent or is your vision clouded by how “well dressed” things are?

We all chase the big clients but often underestimate the profitability of the smaller ones. Opportunities are also missed if a business can’t envision servicing a certain channel or tier of customer. The same is true when dealing with other people. We look for feedback from our clients and collaboration from our team but we may be overlooking some of the most useful resources.  It is often the quietest person in the room who has the most to say. Those who are accustomed to contributing will do so easily but it is worth the work to solicit feedback from others as well. I have gleaned valuable and surprising insights about specific sales or marketing strategies from team members in IT, Finance, Engineering, etc. I am unsure if the badly dressed people are always the most interesting but I have to assume they occasionally are. Make an effort to discover the obscure.

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