How CTOs and CIOs can support corporate communications with data-driven analytics

This post was originally published on CIO Story in November 2015.

Bringing data-driven communications to the enterprise

With increasing pressure on executives to make accurate and speedy decisions, business leaders are more reliant on data than ever before. According to McKinsey, companies that incorporate data and analytics into their operations show five to six percent higher levels of productivity and profitability than companies without data-driven processes. What’s more, a recent global survey conducted by HBR found that broader use of analytics throughout the organization pays off:

“More than 70 percent of the organizations that had deployed analytics throughout their organizations reported improved financial performance, increased productivity, reduced risks and faster decision making.”

Relying on business intelligence teams and analytics enables executives to have more confidence in their decisions, make decisions faster and ultimately meet the goal of delivering better financial performance. So with such clear proof of improvement from the supply chain to social media, why are so many organizations failing to use data to boost their communications?

As the CIO’s role expands beyond traditional IT management and big data continues to cement its position at or near the top of most CIOs’ agendas, there is an opportunity for making high-impact, high-visibility improvements in corporate communications that has yet to be fully seized.

Opportunity for data-driven decision making in communications

From internal town halls to earnings announcements and corporate websites, spoken and written business communications can have a significantimpact on employee engagement, investor relations and customer perceptions.

Imagine if your executive’s town hall presentation could be as polished and well-delivered as a TED talk. Employees would leave the presentation more motivated and inspired to keep working toward corporate goals.

Imagine if the language and delivery of your company’s earnings announcement could positively impact stock price. By empowering executives to perform at their full potential in every earnings call, your company will be better off from the perspective of investors and analysts alike.

Imagine if the content on your corporate website could clearly differentiate you from your competitors. Using data to better position your company to beat the competition is a winning formula for all stakeholders.

Data’s role in increasing communication impact

While tools like Optimizely and Google Analytics help teams improve email open rates and website engagement, businesses can do more to increase the impact of communications across the company. Given that subjective opinion is often times the sole input to helping organizations and their leaders improve communications, here is a clear opportunity to take advantage of objective data to measure and predict the impact of your executive, financial and marketing communications. By implementing a data-driven approach to improving your company’s communications, you will armed with the data you need to:

  • Understand how well your executives are communicating
  • Have a line-of-sight into how your company and your executives compare to other communicators
  • Stand out from the competition
  • See how you are improving over time

As a CIO leader, consider how you can take the initiative in using big data in new, innovative ways. Be a driving force to improving the effectiveness of your organization’s most critical communications. Not only will you help strengthen your company’s brand and reputation—your efforts will also have a lasting impact on business performance and shareholder value.