The power of data and analytics in business improvement initiatives

Lab Blog Article

  • Published — Sep 2019
  • Topic — The power of data and analytics
  • Author — Clinton Abraham

Take advantage of an uneven playing field

According to a Gartner's press release in December 2018, 87% of businesses have 'low business intelligence (BI) and analytics maturity'. Corporates are not monitoring data and are unaware of its potential enterprise value in their strategies.

They're not taking advantage of their most powerful asset.

This is not a bleak outlook for your business, however. It means that if you're already harnessing data and analytics to drive business improvement, and if data analytics is part of your strategy, you're already ahead of the game.

If you're not, there's no time like right now.

Follow the first commandment - know thy customer

Analysing customer data isn't about exploitation; it's about experience optimisation.

Companies now have the power to give the customer what she wants. Businesses can gather their customers' data through web analytics and social media interactions to improve the end to end experience.

The competitive edge in the digital age comes from giving the customer an engaging, personal experience with your brand. The ability to connect with customers emotionally, through tailored stories, video, useful content, and then ultimately the end product is all driven by data analytics.

Improve operational efficiency

Data plays a big role in the public and private sectors, from large enterprise to small to medium businesses (SMB). There are numerous ways that data can help you improve your day to day operations — it's the bread and butter of data analytics.

When you set KPIs for your internal processes, you can see where you're improving, and where you're not doing so well. Incident resolution down? Balance sheet out? Sales numbers higher than expected? These are simple everyday bits of information — but gathering this data and analysing your trends gives you the clarity to make good business decisions.

Data that tells you how your employees spend their time helps you to improve their performance and fine-tune their workflows. Use the data to maximise the team's efficiency and benchmark the new normal.

Sometimes analytics does more than help you to focus on business improvement — it might actually save your business. Organisations working with financial or online transactions can use data analysis to prevent nasty surprises by monitoring attempted fraud and using the data to tighten security. Investing in data analytics in this space is essential.

Business improvement initiatives

Analytics is essential during the design phase of improvement initiatives. Whether you're tweaking your business as usual or implementing change, your processes will only be efficient and effective if you have data to back up your deliverables.

If business improvement is part of your strategy, you've got your strategic objective quantified and ready to go.

With improved data collection technology, there's likely to be an increased need for skilled data analytics professionals. And in the digital age, analytics is more likely to form a part of every role, process and decision. This is good news for getting data-driven initiatives off the ground.

And as Ms Chien at Gartner notes, "...analytics leaders in low BI maturity organisations can make the most of their current resources to speed up modern BI deployment and start the journey toward higher maturity." So use the resources you already have to power up your analytics, drive change and start benefiting from the wealth of information that's already available to you.

Supercharge your decision making

The Gartner report suggests four ways to improve your business's data and analytics capabilities in strategy, people, technology and governance.

1. Develop enterprise-wide data and analytics strategies with a clear vision

This will allow you to consolidate your data and connect and streamline your business processes. No more siloed data and disparate processes. Your strategy should be scalable and dynamic so that it can move with your business.

2. Create a flexible organisational structure to maximise analytics resources

Businesses need the people and skills in place to capture the right data, and to know what to do with it to improve the business. 'Virtual BI teams' can suffice in organisations with limited analytics capabilities.

3. Implement a data governance program

This is your analytics rule book. These rules can support your business objectives, and identify opportunities for improvement and understand risk in the organisation. The program defines who makes the decisions and has authority when it comes to using your analytics.

4. Create integrated analytics platforms that can support multiple uses

To improve your analytics capabilities, you should consider proven, integrated analytics systems that can give you the best in analytics technology. And your improvement initiatives the best chance of success.

It's your business, but better

So what will your business do with data and analytics to power business improvement initiatives?

Why not start with a strategy that puts data at the heart of understanding and driving change, and put a number on the value it will deliver?

Understand how you can use your data to strive for improvement in processes, technology and decision-making.

Research, Identify and leverage industry best practices, analytics skills and technology to enable smart decision making, drive informed improvement plans and transform your business.

And get excited — you've got all the information you need to transform your business, at the touch of a button.