In the beginning—there was data
More companies every day are making use of analytics to improve their operations and their bottom line. The amount of money invested in data analysis technologies is increasing dramatically over time. There are benefits to be realized, but what are they? How do analytics work, and what’s the path to getting to where they pay off? To become a data-driven organization, you need the right tech, the right platform, and ideally, the right partner to help get you where you need to go (and keep you headed in the right direction).
Analytics is the study of data; they’re used to make more informed decisions based on facts rather than opinions or guesses in business. Fact-based decisions made from your data can improve your marketing and sales and your business processes in general.
Harvard Business Review describes analytics as split into three basic types:
- Descriptive: The interpretation of historical data to identify trends and patterns
- Predictive: The use of statistics to forecast future outcomes
- Prescriptive: The application of testing and other techniques to determine which outcome yields the best result in a given scenario.
Every company’s needs are different, so your strategic blend of these three types will vary accordingly. For example, manufacturing firms may predict production or supply chain issues before they get out of hand. Telecom companies may find usage data from customers rapidly driving their plans for signal expansion. The applications of analytics are potentially endless, and the benefits can be considerable when applied correctly.
Today’s companies become more complicated as they grow, and sometimes technology (when applied haphazardly or incorrectly) can exacerbate this problem. Analytics can help provide a path away from this problem; making informed decisions that can decrease operational complexities and improve overall revenue as part of this path.
Finding weak areas in operational processes and fixing them before they become alarming issues: that’s the kind of crystal ball every company wants to look into, and it’s what analytics can do for your organization. It’s not magic – it’s just sifting through the existing data and finding what matters. The benefits of improving operational efficiencies include:
- Increased competitive advantage
- Fewer safety issues
- Improved customer experience
Investing in the right set of analytics now means experiencing a meaningful return on investment not far down the road. The reasons behind this increase in revenue include:
- Better strategic decision making
- A clearer understanding of customers
- Overall cost reductions
Increased profits go hand in hand with successful analytics programs. Those that have been slow to adopt but then ramp up quickly and effectively can generate up to 81 percent more profit.
The path to preparedness and launch
Every company has different needs; however, there are commonalities in preparing for and using analytics. Some basic steps are:
- Hire or train onsite experts. You don’t need to do everything yourself, but ensure that your company has people who understand analytics and can work with key stakeholders inside your organization to ensure maximum usage and efficiency.
- Ensure your data is prepared to be used. Data used for analysis needs to be cleaned, sorted, and stored correctly. Data lakes are examples of storage structures that are ready for deep analytics.
- Identify critical elements of your data for analysis. What are problem areas from the past? What do you want to improve, and how can you measure it?
- Utilize analytics software and visualization tools. Companies like LoadSpring Solutions™ provide analytics software via cloud hosting and their revolutionary PaaS, LoadSpring Cloud Platform™.
Careful investment and deployment of a well-thought-out analytics program provide significant returns to the company, year over year.
Finding the right partner
Managed cloud service companies like LoadSpring can host your project-related software in the cloud, store your data centrally in data lakes and similar structures, and assist in launching a sophisticated analytics program.
Not only can LoadSpring host your project software, but we can also host your analytics applications like Power BI and Tableau® as well. We also have project intelligence built into our platform; LoadSpringInsight allows for deep analysis, reporting, and visualization – all in one place.
Long term strategy
Data can be valuable, but without careful organization and structure, it can go to waste. To move toward your strategic goals of becoming a data-driven organization, you need to have the right people, clean and store your data correctly, plan what will be measured, and have the right tools to do so. Having a partner that can offload some of the IT heavy lifting and expertise in analytics is recommended to achieve maximum efficiency and return on investment. To get started today on your path to benefitting from becoming data-driven, contact us here or call US +1 978 685 9715 or UK +44 800 088 5889.