Companies that effectively use data analytics find that they stay up-to-date with their operations and are more efficient. That is because data analytics, also called 'business intelligence', allows them to get real time data about their operational systems and business transactions. Unfortunately, companies without this visibility into how their business is running and performing find it difficult to keep up with those that are able to leverage those insights into optimization initiatives.
Embrace data analysis as a competitive advantage. The more customers you have, the more data you can gather. Through visualization and analysis, that information can be transformed into business intelligence. This can help you identify and prioritize the most impactful ways to strengthen performance, be it with implementing new technology, boosting product quality, or targeting a new market segment.
How Your Business Can Benefit from Data Analytics
Business analytics can provide a continuous method for monitoring the key performance indicators (KPIs) most closely tied to your strategic goals. This will inform how to deploy limited resources in response to the most pressing needs.
Data visualization tools can be set up to track whatever metrics are most central to your operational decisions. That could include external factors like customer sentiment and industry dynamics, purchasing patterns such as frequency or order size, or internal financial performance. Staying on top of these sorts of trends will enable your organization to anticipate and take proactive measures. Integrations with social media platforms can even enable up-to-the-minute monitoring of Facebook engagement and Twitter followers.
Even if you are behind the curve with the adoption of data analytics, you can make up for lost time. Historical data can be fed into the same analysis methods to build out a baseline for go-forward trend tracking.
Business analytics allows you to identify and proactively address problems. This drives efficiency that translates directly to the bottom line.
The Challenge of Putting Data Analytics into Practice
Microsoft commissioned a study by Forrester, which found that one of the most common reasons companies are reluctant to create a data analytics program is security threats. Decisionmakers are uncomfortable with making systematic access to their customer and operational data until they know it is secure. Installing those controls can spiral into a series of drawn-out initiatives, significantly delaying all related programs - including business analytics. Rather than risk getting tangled in all that complexity, some leadership teams might prefer to scuttle the idea altogether.
Another frequent problem is lacking a commitment to properly training employees. That will foster resistance to the adoption of new business intelligence practices. It is impossible for these tools to make a difference if people don't know how to use them.
What You Need in a Data Analytics Program
The volume of data and the number of sources heavily determine the quality of analysis that can be conducted. Direct integration with all relevant systems ensures timely, accurate inputs without relying on unreliable manual processes for consolidating data from disparate sources.
Even with that automation in place, a method for validating all data feeds also needs to be part of the implementation process. This ensures the integrity of any subsequent analysis, preventing the risk of erroneous reporting creating distractions (or worse).
How this content is presented and distributed is critical. You need a data analytics tool that provides the relevant information in the appropriate level of detail, and makes it easily accessible for the appropriate team members.
If the output of an analytics tool is not actionable, it's useless. That's why the most effective companies collaborate on how changes to the trends they're tracking will influence their approach ahead of time. That creates strategic agility that businesses without a data analytics program simply cannot match.
For more on why business analytics is a necessity rather than a luxury, check out this article from Microsoft.
How We Can Help
Our Microsoft Cloud Solutions team specializes in designing and securing business intelligence programs tailored to each client's unique needs, preferences, and goals. Aspirant's Integrated Expertise ensures that from systems integration to organizational adoption,
To schedule a no-strings-attached discussion about how a data analytics program would revolutionize your business operations, fill out the form below or reach out to me directly.