Top 5 Analytics Success Stories

We take a look at five examples where Big Data has been used successfully


Analytics is no longer a secret - whether it’s companies, sports clubs or political campaigns, data can be the key to unlocking success. In the run-down below, we take a look at five of the best examples where analytics have been used to elevate an organisation or team above their competition.


It’s hard to talk about analytics success stories and not mention Amazon. They were one of the early adopters and are the only company that have a patent that allows them to ship goods before an order has even been placed.

Their ‘customers who bought this…’ feature was revolutionary at the time, but compared to the company’s current offerings, it pales into insignificance. Now, the data points are wide-ranging and far more indicative of what a customer is likely to be genuinely interested in.

Today’s recommendations are based on. their wish list, the items they have reviewed and what similar people have purchased – this creates a very rounded profile of a customer and is a great example of predictive analytics being used to its full potential.


Facebook’s unrelenting use of analytics has been one of the most prominent examples of Big Data’s potential to be overly intrusive. Their business model is built entirely around the extraction of our data.

We are still however more than happy to offer it up, maybe we’ve invested too much time to quit now? Whatever the case, analytics has been the cornerstone for Facebook’s success as one of the biggest companies in the world.

It could be argued that no other platform has as much personal data at its disposal as Facebook, and in fairness to them, they use it to full effect. By targeting very specific ads at the millions of people who use the social network everyday, it seems as if Facebook knows more about you than your friends and family, and worryingly, the truth is that it probably does.

Obama/Biden Political Campaign

No example here matches both of Obama’s election campaigns for sheer impact – data analytics were the president’s go-to tool when John McCain and Mitt Romney threatened to beat him to the White House.

Once it had come to light that 64% of voters were using online forums in order to verify a claim that had been made by a candidate, they knew who they had to persuade and what they were unsure about. It also allowed insights to be leveraged in real time without much lag, in short it gave Obama an awareness of what people were discussing and a platform to speak to people about the things that were concerning them.

Whether Obama would have won the election had he not taken advantage of analytics remains unknown, what is clear however, is that it gave him and his team a welcome push at a time when they needed it most.

Nissan Motor Company

Nissan have a host of localised websites designed to help consumers determine which Nissan product is best for them. They wanted to go further than just simply measuring conversions, but instead delve into the car types, models and colours that customers had been looking at online.

They did this through a ‘request form’ that a potential customer has to fill out following their completion of a brochure or test drive request. By aggregating these data points from individual customers, Nissan were able to paint a vivid picture of the vehicles popularity in a particular region – this means that advertising campaigns and production can be tailored to suit the needs of a region instead of just a country or continent as a whole.

German World Cup Win

There is arguably no greater prize in sport than the FIFA World Cup. As well as grabbing the headlines for their slick football, Germany’s use of data and analytics also caught the attention of many.

The German football federation partnered with SAP AG in order to analyse video data and both individual and team performance. This allowed them to give individuals feedback as to how they can improve their performances and how they could integrate themselves better with one another.

Using analytics, they cut down average possession time from 3.4 seconds to 1.1 seconds, a critical improvement that made all the difference when they defeated Brazil in semi-final and against Argentina, where Mario Gotze’s goal in extra-time gave them the most prestigious prize in sport.


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