Monday, February 6, 2017

BI and Analytics Data Insight Power You hold the data, but until you can turn that data into insight – you don’t hold the power.


Businesses large and small are drowning in data. Every functional area – sales, marketing, supply chain, inventory, finance – generate data every minute of the day. And with the proliferation of social media, digital marketing and mobility, the mountains of data are only growing. Unfortunately, like most things in the digital economy, massive spreadsheets and other traditional means of data analysis (think Cognos and Business Objects) just don’t cut it anymore.

The good news is that today’s sophisticated Business Intelligence and Analytics programs can handle massive quantities of data in a minimum amount of time – making the mountains disappear and making your data work for you.

By unleashing the power of your data you can gain powerful, real-time answers to questions such as: What marketing campaigns are working best? Is our website driving the behaviors that we intended? Are we focusing our efforts on the most profitable products?  Do we have the optimal level of inventory at any given time? What is our shopping cart abandonment rate?

So how do you scale the “data mountain”?  Even for relatively small organizations, aggregating every enterprise data source can seem like a daunting and costly undertaking. Indeed, there is no way around some level of cost and time. The key lies in instilling a business intelligence and analytics program that ensure the task is done right.

Choosing sophisticated analytical software and tools best suited to your organization’s needs such as Microsoft power BI, along with the right experts to carry out the process is the best place to start. From there, it’s time embark on a thorough data mapping, populating, calculating and measurement process. This process, all of which can be accomplished within the cloud, will garner dynamic and engaging dashboards that provide key insights into sales, inventory, web performance, social media engagement, etc.

Of course, in any BI/Analytics undertaking there are many things consider.  For instance, does your system have unlimited scalability to ensure that it can accommodate new data sources and information as your business grows or changes? Does your BI system provide a real-time picture of functional areas in your organization and the ability to “slice and dice” data? If your business requires broad mobility, is your BI system enabled with anytime, anywhere access to data via the web or mobile devices?

Armed with a comprehensive view of your business, derived from your organization’s existing intelligence you will be able to make more informed decisions that can ultimately improve performance and profitability.  In other words, instead of reporting the past, you can predict the future.