Business is a chess game, and like those games, you need a data-driven business strategy. In the Queen’s Gambit, Beth shows an uncanny knack for navigating around her competitors in each chess game. She’s able to see several moves ahead of the person she’s playing, and data allows businesses to do the same. Here’s how to use data-driven business strategies to become the chess master of your industry.

1. Analyze your business ecosystem (aka Who’s playing chess?)

Your business ecosystem is the chessboard of your business. You need to understand all the relevant pieces, the plays, and the possibilities. To be fully prepared, you need to analyze your competitors’:

  • Portfolio of products and services
  • Level of global and local expansion
  • Monetization models and pricing
  • Target market with the greatest potential for profit
  • Strengths and weaknesses based on their customers’ opinions
  • Latest services, products, and business models. 
  • Employee population and expertise distribution
  • The personalities of their CEO, owner, and other top decision-makers
  • Loyalty programs, media, and marketing strategies
  • Adoption strategies for new technology
  • Market share, both online and offline
  • Latest investments, acquisitions, and alliances

These metrics give your business a comprehensive view of the competition present in your business ecosystem. You’ll be plotting your first chessboard moves several steps ahead.

2. Follow the best plays of your competitors (aka How does the competition play?)

With data behind them, companies can find out what makes competitors tick. Understanding competitors’ strategies helps companies build the right approach for gaining more ground on the chessboard. Whenever a great chess player shows off a great move, other players in the game can use that information to improve their own game. Businesses can follow suit.

Chess masters train for years to build the right strategies to anticipate their competitors’ moves and beat them at their own game. Data gives an organization the right foundation to build its own set of moves to counteract the competition and gain ground in its business ecosystem.

The Netflix recommendation algorithm changed the way consumers watch media, and other companies soon adopted the same strategy. While the content and execution of each streaming platform are different, companies do not mess with the recommendation algorithm and autoplay options. Those are too good to give up and would lose companies the whole game before it even starts.

Business strategies to Win Your Industry’s Chess Matches

3. Create a strong attack system with a killer product (aka What’s your game style?)

Data can also provide insight into building the right product or service for customers. Think of the product as the style of chess a player brings to the game. Are they fast and decisive? Are they deliberate yet difficult to predict? Products and services also help edge out competition when they follow a signature style backed by data inquiries.

The caliber of product or service also elevates the chess game itself. With real-time insights to ensure that a product or service is on the right track, companies can take on more significant competitors that may have been intimidating before.

In a famous example of this, a multibillion-dollar giant had a near-monopoly on the men’s razor market. The competition tried making better razors to no avail; the company remained the untouchable champion. However, when a small upstart looked at the problem in a new way—people hate shopping for razors—the data offered an idea, and Dollar Shave Club was born.

They were able to create quality razors and their game-winning strategy: an affordable monthly subscription that allowed them to topple the chess master of the razor world. Eventually, Unilever acquired the company for a cool $1 billion. With the right data strategy, other companies in other industries can pull off the same upsets.

Thinking Like a Chess Master Helps Companies Out-Maneuver Their Competition

4. Defend your business with key resources (aka What’s in your prayer toolbox?)

Chess players use everything at their disposal to defend the board and defeat their competition. Companies must also use their wits, training, and knowledge of their competition to ensure each piece moves with precision. That’s not the only piece, however.

Truly great chess players also have inspiration. They bring innovative strategies to the game that their competition cannot predict. In the same way, companies must innovate through real-time data insights, checking where each piece falls on the board and adjusting in the moment. Understanding both historical data and insights from up to the minute data provides the best advantage for a creative checkmate.

5. Define your value proposal and price system (aka What’s your player identity?)

Great chess players set the pace for the match right away. Companies define their value proposal and price system to set a precedent for their industry. These decisions are no accident. They build on the other elements of becoming a chess master of business.

Strong business strategies are like chess moves

Join all the pieces to create your master strategy

All these pieces ensure that when a company sits down at a chessboard, it brings its A-game. No matter what the competition does, the company can set the pace for the game, predict its competitor’s strategies, and provide innovative moves that end in checkmate.

A robust data strategy ensures business decisions are accurate and products are at their most innovative. With this information from Insyte Global, your business will become the reigning grandmaster of your field.

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