Market analysis is a team sport
“I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team.” This quote stems from the three-time football world champion and one of the best players of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé. His creative playing style as well as his enormous scoring ability has made him an icon of world football. Although the hype surrounding him dominated the media landscape, he always emphasized his team and the success achieved together. At the end of every football match, you win or lose as a team.
Whether you participate together as a team in a sporting competition or work together within a professional environment, well-experienced and well-managed teams provide a solid foundation for potential success. Efficient division of labor, different perspectives and the combination of individual strengths can contribute significantly to solving problems or handling challenges. In order to give an insight into the versatile teams within the ANDRITZ Group, PUMPS discovered a "team" for this special issue that came together through cross-divisional cooperation. Over the past two years, an intensive exchange has developed in the field of market analysis for centrifugal pumps and equipment in thermal and mechanical solid/liquid separation. Due to this discourse, the employees involved realized very quickly that they were pursuing the same visions and goals. Therefore, several lone fighters joined together to form a team and turned their working area into their own "team sport".
The team sport
The Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, the classic dictionary on economic terms, defines market analysis as the "systematic methodical investigation of the position of individual companies in the market". The market itself is usually described as the meeting of supply and demand, in which quantities traded in different ways and corresponding prices occur. So much for economic theory.
The reality, however, shows that global markets have one thing in common: they are sometimes of very different nature and can be distinguished from one another by many characteristics. These can be the geographical location and the associated distribution of resources, local price and purchasing power developments, local production possibilities or different investment activities, but also political systems and state-established institutions. The list of factors influencing or characterizing the market could be continued here, but it inevitably leads to one result: the perfect market only exists in theory. The multitude of aspects to be considered demonstrates that detailed market analysis is associated with different challenges. The increased cooperation between market and data analysts in the above-mentioned areas has led to the consolidation and further development of existing knowledge.
But what exactly does existing knowledge of market analysis mean? First and foremost, these are known market characteristics such as a regional distribution of resources or existing trade relations of a country. Chile, for example, is regarded as one of the largest copper producers in the world and has maintained a free trade agreement with Mexico to expand the sales markets for domestic products and to make the required goods available more cheaply since 1998. However, markets are constantly changing. For this reason, market analysts are busy following, documenting or predicting trends and developments for a large part of their time. To do this, they use probably the most important currency of all analysts: data.
The tactical line-up
Big Data, Machine Learning, Block Chains, and Dashboards. This selection of keywords represents only a few of the topics of modern data processing and use that are on everyone's lips in times of the Internet of Things. They all stand for methods, knowledge or tools to use, process and gain information from ever-increasing amounts of data. Market analysts from the ANDRITZ product groups for centrifugal pumps and equipment for thermal and mechanical solid/liquid separation also make use of this information. A central challenge was the preparation of market data from a multitude of sources, with different scope sizes, to design corresponding market analyses. Originally intended to facilitate and accelerate the compilation of reports, the potential of central, multidimensional, interactive, and consistent data provision in an already final presentation form continued to grow. By linking several databases, different subject areas, in a specially designed data model, all relevant stakeholders can now access all acquired data and related information online via pre-built dashboards. This concept, developed and implemented by the team, was given the official name "Market Intelligence Cube". Internally, however, it is still affectionately called “the MIC”.
The playing style
The MIC is symbolic of the growing teamwork within the participating market analysis departments. While some team members are concerned with the acquisition of new data sources, their preparation and integration into the existing data model, others take care of the targeted presentation of the processed data. The interaction of individual backgrounds, areas of interest and skills of the individual "players" lead to a well-experienced "team". The presentation of the generated information is the responsibility of each "player" and is individually compiled according to the internal customer or subject area. The resulting working method enables a faster processing of requested market analyses as well as improved structuring of internal processes. The cross-business cooperation has not only halved the development time, but now also enables the majority of the time to be used for consulting and accompanying colleagues in product management, product marketing, innovation management as well as sales and divisional management with regard to budget and business planning. In addition, the mutual exchange of team members offers increased space for creativity and innovation. Like every football team, they also strive to continuously improve their "playing style".
The passion for data analysis and the vision to facilitate and sustainably change entrepreneurial decisions with the help of data is the main driving force. As already described above, markets are subject to permanent change and so is their analysis. Working in such an environment, therefore, always remains challenging and always brings new insights. The ANDRITZ Group's broad product portfolio, thus, offers the perfect "playing field" for this team.