Can Businesses survive with Adhoc and Anecdotal evidence based decisions anymore?
The new reality of our connected world is the constant generation of data, every single minute of every day. Understandably, in an increasingly digitised world, bound together by the Internet of Things, this trend is only going to accelerate, in fact according to many sources, the digital universe (data) would double in the next two years with new devices, sensors, and technologies. Most emerging companies thrive out on these growth opportunities but the old world companies have to keep abreast and not miss out this opportunity to leapfrog because the pace and pressure take priority over developing competitive edge despite more data being available at their disposal.
“Too little data, too much data, inaccessible data, incomplete data , reports and dashboards that take too long to produce and often aren’t fit for purpose, analytics tools that can only be used by a handful of trained specialists – the list of complaints about such tools is long, and IT is often seen as part of the problem. At the same time, BI has been a top implementation priority for organizations for a number of years now, as firms clearly recognize the value of data and analytics when it comes to improving decisions and outcomes. Business intelligence (BI) uses data to look at the efficacy of past actions while Business Analytics (BA) uses data to predict and forecast future trends and outcomes.
According to a survey done by a big Data Analytics company – ‘gut feel’ is still driving nearly half (47%) of the C-suite and Business Development (BDMs) surveyed in making business critical decisions, with less than one in 100 leaders claiming their decisions are always data-led. In terms of input into decision-making, respondents ranked recommendations from colleagues as the most useful input (52%), followed by customer feedback (51%), Gut feel (47%) and repeating a previously successful approach (43%). This number is even higher in APAC based companies where automation as a %age of revenue is much lower than the Americas and Europe. Therein lies the crux of the problem and the disconnect between Data and Decision Making because of the complexity and time and labour need to glean “information”.
With such a relentless pace of data being accumulated, business leaders are often forced to de-prioritise their use of data in decision-making, using it to make ‘rear view mirror’ diagnoses only and potentially missing forward-looking growth opportunities that could help spur growth. Leaders understand that their organizations are investing resources, to better harness the explosion of data they face, but this is not yet being used to bring data to every question, action and decision they need to make.
“The fact that businesses are producing vast amounts of data is indisputable, but it’s clear from this research that senior business leaders, including those at board level, are still struggling to access the data on their own terms, when they should really stress the need for DATA to power live, forward looking decisions,” . How often do you hear that a decision was made but the data came post the decision making process
The way to improve on the decision-making process is to tap into this data and discard the old ways of reports coming from the Data Analyst two rungs away from decision making assumptions and criteria. Today self service BI and Analytics tools are available to Managers who can change the way they look at data and make decisions.
Data – The key to tapping new Business Opportunities
Most data science methodologies use the same data to gather their insights, but they approach the data pool in a different way. Each approach is vital for an organization. BI for instance draws conclusions from historical data, while Business Analytics is forward-looking with planning and forecasting. Both are critical to complete this circle and require numerous statistical techniques, datasets, skills and tools for their findings. They are not fulfilling all requirements on their own, but represent a powerful team for a company to make good decisions.
Business Intelligence shows what aspects of an organization’s products or services are weakest and which are strongest. It will highlight if given goals were met and exceeded or not achieved. BI constantly focuses on the metrics and KPI’s that measure data and performance, answering questions like –
- “What happened?” “How many?” “How often?” and “Who?”
Business Analytics uses these same insights to predict future customer behavior and proposes campaign changes, or attempts to model a specific change. BA is more concerned with the questions like –
- “What will happen next?” (forecasting/prediction)
- “What could be the best outcome?” (optimization)
- And “How can we make it happen?” (strategic planning)
BI and Analytics is creating the same chasm that the ERP wave did a decade and half ago. The ERP wave was about alignment of employees to Operational processes and BI /Analytics wave is about aligning, the employees to market needs and partners to your client voice. Companies need to understand the new realities of this digital universe and make some tough decisions to survive and expand else they risk their businesses at their own peril, the way Kodak and Nokia discovered a few years too late
How some innovative companies are tapping their Data
Daemon Software uses the Sisense BI and Analytics end to end platform in helping companies, improve Operational efficiencies and provide insights and visibility to internal users and clients and make better decisions with data in hand using drill down and predictive analytics . See a few below –
A Fortune 500 Financial company lowered cost of client servicing and increased the value proposition for their customers, by providing self service tools to access their own data and layer non-traditional data to dissect and analyse performance and returns. No more company rule book and processes and wait times and immense service costs savings.
A construction management company improved time, accuracy and effort on data collection allowing for near real-time insights into business operations at all levels. The dashboards improved visibility for employees on project management workﬂow metrics, KPI’s and cash ﬂow with a consolidated view that helped Business managers make better decisions in time to manage projects.
A mobile content provider uses data on clicks to subscription, channels of access, quality viewer time and top viewing trends to make decisions on investments into content generation and sales channels growth
A manufacturing company enabled their partners to see up to the minute Operations and inventory data with an ability to collaborate and view the entire partner eco system trends and metrics to make sales and marketing decisions that helped the entire value chain improve delivery and service
A supply chain logistics company was able to provide SLA and Operational metrics to its clients to create a transparent relationship with them and free up the BDM’s time on the phone managing escalations as the client could see what was happening in real time.
An HR and Workforce management software provider decided to embed a ready to use OEM BI and Analytics COTS module from a partner freeing up valued resources t concentrate energies to develop and improve its core functional platform
Daemon Software is an APAC partner for Sisense and helps clients look at data from multiple perspectives and help them achieve digital transformation and monetize their existing data to create new revenue streams and streamline service.Sisense is an end to end self service BI and Analytics platform that lets clients look at massive amounts of data and increase the data velocity across internal, partner and customer channels.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to evaluate how your company can benefit with Embed Analytics and BI if you deal with any of these scenarios in your organization –
- You have a lot of data sources and deal with complex data or connect to edge devices for IOT.
- You have multiple systems and teams managing Analytics and reporting and need better tools with AI, ML and predictive capabilities
- You want to create dynamic, rich applications and widgets that can turn your dashboard into interactive business apps
- You need to embed an OEM BI layer on your platform so clients and partners get better visibility and provide them with self service data Analytics