Roger Bielicke of Unleash Insight
A BIT ABOUT ROGER
At Unleash Insight, Roger and his team help business leaders take the guesswork out of decision making by using data to make more informed decisions that eliminate waste and unlock opportunities. Roger has a long history in driven decision making and he has a knack for making these complex topics much more conversational.
(3:18) What was the moment where Roger decided this is what he wants to do?
Roger’s always been a numbers-driven person, that's always been his strength.
He was always helping with different analytical projects with Enterprise.
Early early in his career, he did a lot of things but was more focused on the financial aspects.
Things really changed for him when he worked in the car cell division.
Roger started working on problems like how all the operational aspects of the business is tied together and how that ties into the financial level.
At that stage, Roger’s focus shifted from looking at financials or the outcomes, to what really drives the outcomes, the inputs.
Roger defines the inputs that drive outcomes as:
Do we have the right products and services?
Are we offering them correctly?
Are we marketing those?
Do we have the right people to make that all happen?
Are we focusing on the right locations or territories?
(4:42) Was there a big win that Roger looks back on?
He is most proud that they transformed the culture in the organization to be more data-driven.
Having the data meant that they could make more optimal decisions.
Rogers believes that the data helps solve three key issues:
It gives confidence and peace of mind to move forward.
Data saves time and eliminates debating issues without information.
It is a roadmap to success. The data sets a benchmark you can use to determine if you should move ahead.
(4:41) Do companies resist the transition to being data-driven?
The biggest resistance Roger identified is not that people don’t want to be data-driven, they just don’t know how to.
The biggest challenge is finding all the resources and knowledge to help connect all the pieces and deliver credible insights.
Although there is a lot of information available, Roger says that it is important to get the right information to help you make better decisions for your business.
People need to understand the technical side of data but it is also important that they understand the business side of the data. Finding people who are capable of doing that is a challenge.
According to Roger people don’t need to dive into big data or machine learning right away, they should take baby-steps and use simple studies and identify simple relationships.
(7:58) How can we know that we have good data?
The first step is to do an assessment. And that's where Roger believes it's not all about technology.
It's first about doing studies and asking yourself how good the data is.
An example is in marketing and the marketing side of things with your website. In some of your digital advertising spend, there's a lot of data available. But one of the first things you have to check and see is: Do people have goals, set up? Goals could be, did somebody get to my contact us page? Or did somebody buy products from us, that's the ultimate goal. You can have a million visitors to your site, but nobody buys anything that doesn't provide any value you. Ask yourself how good is the data? One of the first things we do is have the proper goals set up.
Roger often finds that people have no goals set up. He then sets up the goals so they can get some better information out of the system.
Some times they look at the system and identify some things that they can do to get better information because they’re missing some key data points.
(12:15) Roger’s transition from Enterprise to Unleash Insight
Roger says he was lucky to learn and have the privilege to work with a lot of senior leaders at Enterprise. It was a phenomenal experience and helped him get to where he is today.
While he loved doing what he did at Enterprise he started wondering how he could help small midsize companies in the St. Louis area to grow and build their business to be highly successful.
He left Enterprise in 2015. Although his strategy wasn't mapped out as well as he would have liked it actually worked out well.
Roger got connected to a marketing agency in St. Louis, and worked with them for a couple of years and did some consulting work with them. This experience helped him learn about marketing.
In 2018 he decided that he wants to do his own thing again. He came out with the name of Unleash Insight with help from people in his network.
Unleash Insight’s goal is to open up some insight that will help companies, o eliminate waste, and unlock opportunities that their eyes just don't see.
(17:26) How does Roger identify who would be a good fit to work with?
Typically when a process can be repeated they would make a good fit, like retail, service providers, physical therapy centers, restaurants with multiple locations and those that are looking. Generally, they are looking for someone that’s looking to grow to add new stores or enter a new market.
As a business you're trying to grow and scale the business, scaling the business can be challenging as you get further away from your home market or your home location. With new locations, the business owner is further away, this is when it is really important to learn and leverage the data and apply it when making decisions.
(21:26) What is the hot button paint point of most of Roger’s clients?
Roger says that clients come to him when they struggle with their marketing. They know that something is wrong with their marketing but they can’t figure out what exactly. There is a lot of wasteful expenditure when it comes to marketing and the clients want their efforts more effective. After his assessment, he shows them the data and points out what is working and where they are losing money. Clients can then use that information to focus the money that is wasted on the marketing tactics that work.
Even though marketing is one of the biggest pain points, customers or come to him with HR problems or they want to do research before they expand or take larger strategical decisions.
(40:23) What small things can business owners do right now to use data to make better decisions?
The first thing they can do is to look at their executive reports. People can very quickly get a sense of how they are doing with their data by just looking at a couple of their top one or two reports. There are two things that should be there that often aren't. Do they have effectiveness measure? They should not only look at the volume of their sales but also the effectiveness of their sales. They may know how much they spent on marketing but they should also know what their return on that spend is. There should be one dashboard, where they can see all their operational inputs and see how it drives the outcome. When they have a dashboard like this they can see how their financial performance changes.
(42:33) What advice does Roger have for young individuals transitioning into adulthood?
Roger says it's important to have a diversity of skill sets.
Education and technical skill sets are important. However, they're not everything.
You need a lot of the soft skills to be very successful, you need to be able to communicate and you need to be able to build relationships.
Technical education in a specific technical skill is important, but you need to be well rounded and have more than just the hard skills, you also need those soft skills. That is what makes you successful.
Connect with Roger on LinkedIn
Check out Unleash Insight