One of the subjects that has been getting a lot of press lately is Big Data – it’s impossible to avoid, but with good reason. It’s providing insights into areas of business that have never been tracked before, thanks to the overwhelming adoption of technological innovation. But in many cases, the perception of Big Data seems limited to data gleaned from online sources and used in online applications. However, there is another side to Big Data which is growing just as quickly as the more commonly known aspects: business analytics. In fact, a recent study conducted by Bloomberg claims that of companies annually earning more than $100 million USD, a staggering 97% now use some form of business analytics.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however, as only a quarter of all organizations believe that business analytics has been “very effective” in their quest for fact-based business decisions. It’s important to note, though, that this is not likely the fault of analytics itself, but rather the fault of the analysts – and of the managers who are making the actual decisions. In the past, many firms have been successfully utilising what’s known as Business Intelligence, a sort of precursor to the more advanced Business Analytics. The confusion between these two is largely responsible for the fact that many businesses are not getting the most benefit out of the data available to them. Think of it this way – business intelligence is the equivalent of constantly looking out the window to determine when winter will arrive, while business analytics is the equivalent of looking at years of climate data to accurately project when the first snowfall is likely to occur.
There are many hurdles to the adoption and proper use of analytics, above and beyond the migration from business intelligence attitudes and preconceptions. As with anything related to Big Data, the sheer volume of available data can seem overwhelming, especially for a large organization, and deployment across multiple departments is a complicated systems engineering task. But it’s impossible to deny the potential of properly applied business analytics, as companies who have incorporated the practice from the ground up are reaping major performance rewards and easily surpassing the competition. To make sure that your organization doesn’t get left behind in the dust, it’s essential to act now to implement your own business analytics strategy.