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Three practical tips to extract more value from your data

By Nizar Torlakovic

I spent the best part of the last 15 years working as a quantitative research analyst in institutional equities, extracting value from data. I knew I had to find rare data sets to work on, without them, providing clients with unique insights is rather difficult. So when I came across a large, mostly untapped, dataset that could fuel research for my years at the bank, I was very excited. With access to roughly a quarter of all credit card transactions and home loans issued in Australia, I knew I could build a differentiating product for the investment market.

Based on this experience of creating and running an analytics strategy, here are my top 3 tips that could set you up for success:

1. Always start with the hard questions
What is the value of your data?  Are your clients, whether internal or external, interested in buying insights or only in buying raw data? Is your offering unique or is there a competitor? Where are you in your client’s value chain? Is your service linked to their revenue generation, cost saving, risk management, or is it just one of many inputs? These are the questions you need to answer before you even start on your journey.

2. Do not allow your analytics strategy to become a science experiment
There is always a temptation to go for the latest and greatest in technology. Technology is a great enabler, but its purpose is to support your strategy and deliver value in the most efficient way. Your focus should be on value, not technology. If you don’t have the tech capability, partner with people who do. The right partner will get you there quicker, and can help you build the capabilities you need.

3. Timing is everything
Analytic strategy is normally a long-term engagement, and you need to build a roadmap. So you need to understand that the value of data and insights can vary with time. For example, if your data can predict bursting of the property bubble, the value of that data today would be very high. However, once the bubble is burst, data value would plummet just like the asset prices.

While success depends on many things, including having the right people in your team, these tips will ensure your analytics journey will have a great head start. I’m always available to explore any data analytics challenges you may have regardless of where you are on your journey. 

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Nizar Torlakovic, Chief Analytics Officer

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