Business-IntelligenceFor the last couple of weeks we have been taking a look at the 4 most important factors when it comes to driving your business forward. If you missed the first two articles in this series, we discussed:

To read either of these articles, you may do so by clicking the links provided.

Part Three: Big Data, Analytics and Reporting

One of the benefits of the evolution of technology in recent years has been an accumulation of big data. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created worldwide. From that which is generated from social media, to mobile devices and even within your own ERP system – there is a large amount of information just waiting to be harnessed. The amount of information your company needs to process is growing exponentially. Your organization now has the opportunity to use data to improve operations, interactions with customers, and drive growth. From identifying trends and gaining new insights regarding customer buying cycles and patterns, to production challenges, and product profitability – there is an unending amount of information you can utilize to gain a better big picture view of your organization. From managers and marketers, to CEO’s and CFO’s – all agree that appropriately harnessing big data will enable them to achieve higher profitability and success in the future.

Big data drove roughly $28 billion in IT spending last year, and Gartner predicts that this will rise to $34 billion in 2013. Businesses have noted that big data is a critical factor in ongoing success. Unfortunately traditional IT analytics practices are not effective when applied to large scale data warehouses.  The time has come to grow and take advantage of insight provided by transactional, unstructured, and externally sourced data. With diverse data sets of varying types constantly pouring in – there is just no way your staff can keep up. Conclusions would be obsolete after the time it would take to manually analyze all of your data and report on it. Using the old analytics model will increase the likelihood that you will end up buried under data instead of leveraging it to your greatest advantage.

A better bet is to deploy a Business Intelligence (BI) application in conjunction with an experienced analytics professional to ensure you get the greatest analytics and data out of the system. With the infrastructure you need to support your data, as well as built-in analytics tools to provide you with the information you need in real time – BI allows you to simultaneously gain deeper insights into your business while also increasing productivity. With significant flexibility BI provides everything from report generation capabilities, trend identification, historical customer information, and predictive analytics. What’s more, many intelligence applications allow you to automatically collect information from multiple divisions, companies and/or data sources to get a better big picture view. The right BI tool will give you faster access to crucial business information, which will help you make ongoing quick decisions in the best interest of your organization.

Ultimately, having the appropriate access to the data you need to see is essential for ongoing success. If you sense that you may not be getting the most use out of your business data, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your needs and challenges and help you determine which Business Intelligence application would be best suited for your specific requirements.

To learn more about the role of integration within analytics and reporting you may be interested in viewing our complimentary whitepaper, Front to Back Office Integration – The only Way to True 360-Degree Customer Visibility and Seamless Data Consistency.