THE BLOG
06/03/2014 03:41 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2014

Immediacy, Accuracy, Innovation - It's Required

Businesses around the world are more connected than ever before. Just ask any company how many smartphones they carry, how many tablets and laptops are used, and how many virtual meetings are held with clients. On top of this, think about how many email, text and video messages are sent and received. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned social channels. In my opinion, being connected is probably the most powerful influencer of innovation. Sometimes I really feel bad for the IT staff. Their jobs have become a whole lot more complicated over the past decade.

Immediacy And Accuracy

The immediacy and accuracy of real-time data transfer has become the norm. We now have the ability to share and connect with people, groups, and companies around the world pretty much instantaneously. The quality and ease of use of today's digital channels are rapidly on the rise and many industries are getting in on the game. Online learning, MOOCs and the global reach of it have changed the face of learning. Mobile technologies, cloud based storage, computing, medicine and space are just a few of the industries that have continued to amaze us year after year. The list could go on. Some form of innovation touches every aspect of our life. Here's the crazy part. I haven't even touched on drone technology.

Required To Be Competitive

In my opinion, innovation is absolutely required to be competitive today, tomorrow and in the future. I think we would all agree with that. Managing that expectation and deliverable is critical for sustainable growth to occur. In the interest of innovation and creating sustainable growth, I spoke with Kevin Wells, Executive Vice President, Global Market Development for Reach Analytics. Kevin's comments were quite telling when discussing how to predict innovation for growth purposes.

Question: How do you predict innovation, and also leverage predictive analytics so that your business can use that information to create growth?

Kevin Wells: Predicting innovation has always been part science, part black magic and part luck. The world of data gives us the ability to maybe leverage the science and luck parts of that equation a little more. We are a predictive analytics firm so we have to eat our own dog food so to speak. We look at the trends the data uncovers and then we look at the variables that are more difficult to quantify. And then we make what we think are good business decisions. But they are based on facts more than gut. Big data uncovers things humans would overlook -- if you know how to look for them.

Kevin is absolutely right in saying "Big data uncovers things humans would overlook." The challenge is how to predict it, harness it and leverage its strengths to forge ahead in the right direction. The trick is determining the right formula for knowing how immediate and how accurate is best for your company. There is a fine line between just right and a complete failure. That line may determine whether innovation exists or not.

Innovation Management

If immediacy and accuracy are critical for innovation to occur, who's managing these components in businesses and why is innovation management so important to compete? As I continue to read through blogs and forums, I see that it's mostly big enterprise that's investing in human capital in the form of innovation officers. I also see that start-ups may not have that type of position on the payroll, however, they are more inclined to hire people that have a proven innovation pedigree. Does this mean start-ups are better positioned than their bigger brand competitors? Hmm. That just might be the case.

Immediacy Perspective

Business as we know relies on innovation that has several components; Timely ideas, product launches and marketing to name a few. Sometimes getting to market immediately is more important than getting it perfect. There does seem to be a trend in the advertising world to eliminate manual functions and implement automated ones. In an article titled, Just-in-Time Advertising: Why Immediacy Wins, author Rob Leathern talks about how advertising will become the norm, not the exception. Interesting how innovation in advertising is not just about the speed of big data, but also in speed of delivery.

As innovation becomes a necessity for survival, so will immediacy and accuracy characteristics that make up the innovative process and the product. Innovation is not just something that can be bought and sold like nearly everything in our consumer-driven culture; it requires immediacy and accuracy to be injected into every aspect of the entire company.