Data is the new gold
Did you know that 90 percent of all the world’s data has been collected only in the past few years? It’s almost impossible to imagine today’s world without the word ‘data’. We’ve been aware of data’s possibilities for only a few years. And yet, it appears that we’ve not been making maximum use of all those opportunities because we use only 12 percent of all data collected by organizations. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule; there are organizations that have discovered the potential of business intelligence. Companies where analytics get deeply rooted in business operations in a short time and that serve as the basis for making daily decisions.
What makes these organizations different? What choices have they made in data analytics that other organizations do not dare to make and what does it provide them?
A platform-based approach
Let’s start with the tool for analysis. organizations that use a business intelligence tool do not necessarily immediately get on the right path when it comes to analytics. The range of BI tools is quite wide. For example, visualization tools are easy for Excel users to work with, but they are not designed for scaling, they have a lack of data management and are not suitable for large enterprises. The strength is in the combination of all of them. One platform that enables users to examine not only what happened but also why and what is expected in the future. A platform that covers everything from data visualization to analysis and real-time management reports. Data-driven organizations make use of this platform-based approach, which enables them to bridge the semantic gap between raw data from the data warehouse and meaningful information in a simple way. Visualization is the key.
Visualizations provide insight into the nature of a problem and can provide meaning to data at a glance with storytelling. Data-driven organizations embrace storytelling and therefore discover the story behind the data earlier. Business Analytics allow them to continuously innovate on a regular basis. Storytelling transforms data into a living story with a beginning and an end, while graphs give just a one-dimensional, static picture of the story. Organizations that do not use storytelling are challenged no further than the absorption of information. Storytelling provides the ability to interact. Click through directly to the source, where questions and follow-up questions can be asked and discussions can be started, so that the relationship between the figures and what employees see happening at their workplace becomes clear. Allowing employees to take control and putting them to work with BI is also an essential component.
Use of self-service
Analyzing data is actually no longer reserved for data analysts; today’s technology allows the entire organization to work with BI. The use of self-service analytics gives knowledge workers the opportunity to combine data from different data sources, visualize and create personal analyses and reports, with no need to depend on the IT department or technical specialists. In this way, employees get a common goal. This increases their involvement and promotes the transformation to a data driven organization. Moreover, it challenges the organization to continue to search for data that can help it to answer certain questions.
If the information is publicly available then why not use it? Data-driven organizations are not satisfied with their own data collected. They use Data-as-a-Service and combine internal data with external data in order to gain optimum insight. Assessment of internal data and benchmarking of external data such as demographic, economic and population indicators, makes substantiated decisions easier and more reliable. In addition, this powerful combination provides the chance to look into the future and make forecasts on the basis of big data.
What does this provide?
The unique combination of all these factors means that data-driven organizations, unlike other organizations, do not answer questions they already had, but rather answer questions that they did not know they had. That is the basis for innovation.
By Sabine Palinckx, Country Manager at Qlik.