By now, if you work in technology or big business (or just plain love learning about these two vibrant concepts), you’ll have heard of big data. Big data is found in just about all places, and pretty soon it very much will be. In fact, we wrote about some of the bigger feats in big data – a program that combines information from 20,000 sources, the Human Genome Project, and easy parking in LA – it’s all impressive (especially easy parking in LA)!
The thing to notice about big data is that, on its own, big data achieves nothing. It needs to be paired with action. Which brings us to today’s topic: Actionable data analytics.
What are Actionable Data Analytics?
At the core, such analytics provide a host of useful data that shape better business decisions. It’s a process that takes all kinds of information – GPS data, news, social media posts and trends, and so on – and mathematically digs out vital trends. These trends are then put to good use in deciding what a company needs to do in the coming months and years so as to increase their odds of success!
Of course, that’s the high-level take – there’s a deeper breakdown of steps that needs to be done. Actionable data analytics incorporates comparative analysis on a great many dimensions.
These include study of broad-scope data such as:
- Real-time industry and company trends
- Industry benchmarks
- Macro or regional trends
There’d also be analysis of more local information, including:
- Company vs. industry rankings
- Supplier ranking
- Internal department “ranking” (more of a scorecard, really)
And, to make all of this really useful, a good analytics system would put all of these information flows together and display it in a map view (when it’s relevant, of course).
How is All This Achieved?
To begin, there needs to be a (software) system in place that combines all the data in a company. Just right now, the simple fact of the matter is that there is much crucial data that sits unnoticed and untouched inside every company. All this data tells important stories about each company’s effectiveness. But the stories are overlooked. Which is a shame, because it would be simple to put the pooled data together to get a better total picture of the patterns in the data. You just need the right tool and the conviction to do it!
Beyond that, the more forward-looking would also invest the time and effort to get additional similar information about competitors and their industry as a whole from impartial and reputable third parties like Gartner. By combining information about their companies with this information, a clear understanding emerges.
Now, let me be CLEAR: I am NOT suggesting breaches of privacy or to any other form of unethical activity as a strategy! Ethics must be maintained no matter what happens!
That being said, ethics don’t keep people from compiling and sharing real-time industry trends and statistics in a way that both safeguards everyone’s secrets while enriching everyone’s business advantage. In fact, combining everyone’s data to get an average measure of how an industry is doing would be the way to protect individual trade secrets.
Now, why should we go through all this in the first place?
Here are the Benefits of Actionable Data Analytics!
- Improved response times:
- Waiting on reports – either annual or even quarterly – before acting makes you reactive instead of pro-active. It won’t just be that your company moves slower as a result; the more important part is that you’ll miss out on many opportunities to be ahead of the game. Proper use of big data means that you can respond to critical events as they happen in real time!
- Work smarter through better benchmarking:
- It’s crucial to know how well you’re doing, both on in absolute terms (i.e., “Are we profitable? Are we growing?”), and in terms of basic efficiencies (i.e., average spend, inventory accuracy, usage trends, etc.). Analytics will let you know how you perform on all these measures at a glance! One of the key ways to work smarter is to know if what you’re doing is best of class in the first place!
- In-house “consulting”:
- By learning the nature of popular devices and how they’re used, you’ll have a better idea of global costs per user, and what to expect when you’re budgeting or devising security measures. You’ll also be able to figure out how you’re doing among your peers. After all, you don’t know if you’re a leader or just trying to catch up without this knowledge. What you should also know is that this is the type of information that you’d usually have to pay extra to outside consultants to get. Now, imagine if you could save a portion of that cost and still react in real-time?
Final Words for Now…
Well, it’s been an interesting three weeks, leading you all through Cimpl’s visions of the future. Cimpl is Canada's leader in IT and telecom expense management. To learn more details, make sure you download our Vision Webinar when it comes out! Watch this space for updates!