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Overview

For postal organizations, data has never been in short supply. Yet although they deal with vast quantities of data on a daily basis, using insights from that data to transform their postal businesses remains untapped. Indeed, while a 2013 survey showed that 62 percent of 600 director-level executives ranked using analytics for "quicker/more effective decision-making" as a top priority, data is often not being used across the business as effectively as it might—only one in four survey respondents said they habitually rely on data as a source of inspiration or basis for decision making.

Analytics is not only a game changer—with the potential to create customer-centric capabilities that realize US$12 billion in incremental revenue—but also a fast track to postal transformation.

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Background

High performance in the postal industry research has shown, diversification is the new normal—with non-mail revenues exceeding mail revenues for the first time in our 2014 report. But while offering new services in banking, eCommerce or retail is helping postal organizations to grow their businesses, to survive—and thrive—they need to do more on their postal transformation journey. Just as the private sector has embraced analytics to differentiate, postal agencies can use data insights to discover new ways to outrun the competition.

Mining data can quickly lead to “analysis paralysis.” To sift through the noise, postal organizations need to ask the right questions and focus on the answers. When used by the business for the business, analytics can help to identify patterns or predict behaviors.

Postal organizations can drive postal transformation and revenue generation in three ways: their customer relationships, data insights and new business sources.

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Analysis

Postal organizations can use analytics to:

  • Reinvent customer relationships. By releasing customer data from its siloes, the broad insights can help postal agencies offer a more personalized experience across channels to both small businesses and consumers.

  • Trust the data, not your instinct. The data speaks for itself; rather than relying on traditional practices or instinct, thorough data analysis enables a real-time understanding that can be used to drive decision making within the business.

  • Generate new sources of business. As the ”middle man” connecting one person with another, or businesses with each other, data is not in short supply for the postal agency. New value-added services can be created to enhance the monetization of this existing data.

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Recommendations

By enhancing their knowledge about customers and businesses, postal organizations can monetize their data—appealing to marketers or offering the data to governments so that they can pre-empt issues surrounding welfare fraud and tax evasion.

With the adoption of predictive analytics nearly tripling in the last three years, data is no longer the exclusive domain of specialist analysts crunching numbers and presenting detailed reports that need further interpretation. Smart analytics is automated and predictive—using data to identify patterns, variables and causality that would not be readily available through straightforward reporting. Those post and parcel organizations that take an enterprise approach, applying analytics end-to-end across their businesses, can not only moderate their concerns about big data with its associated cost and time, but also gain a powerful proactivity that leads to postal transformation and eases the journey to delivering public service for the future.

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Brody Buhler

Global Managing Director - Accenture Post and Parcel

Connect with Brody Buhler's Profile on LinkedIn. This opens a new window. Brody Buhler

Mail to Brody Buhler. This opens a new window. robert.b.buhler@accenture.com 

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