“Big data” has taken the business world by storm. Modern companies have quickly realized they must embrace a culture driven by data analytics to gain a competitive edge. There’s never been a time when so many billions of data points regarding customers, trends, markets and futures were as readily available — so are you taking advantage of them?
Whether structured or unstructured, these massive data sets are too much for humans to handle independently. This is why we’ve also seen a global push toward Analytics as a Service (AaaS) solutions. With this software, business leaders can harness the full power of data analytics to make agile decisions. AaaS also saves businesses money, thanks to cloud-based subscription services. Gone are the days of buying costly on-site storage.
These trends led to astronomical surges in the data analytics market. By 2029, the value of big data should reach $655 billion. That’s over 2.5 times the $241 billion of 2021!
Business leaders have learned to use analytics to future-proof their businesses. What’s their secret? And how can you leverage this digital golden ticket today?
The Role of Data Analytics in Your Business
The modern business landscape is highly competitive. In it, data has emerged as an organization’s most critical tool. When used correctly, data analytics can give any business the edge needed to outperform its competitors. Leaders will gain meaningful insights from vast data sets, helping them make accurate decisions in real time.
Let’s unpack how analytics can help your business excel and how you can create a robust data strategy today.
How Can Data Analytics Help Your Business?
No matter your industry, analytics will play a significant role. Let’s touch on some of the largest industries in America and examine how their use of data has helped them thrive.
Digitization has completely overhauled the manufacturing industry. Leaders are constantly finding new ways to harness the data they collect to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency and drive profits.
Consider all the physical assets required in a manufacturing business. All of those machines run on different life cycles. Data analytics pools everything you need about those machines into a centralized, digestible data set. From there, manufacturers can maximize equipment uptime and deploy maintenance more efficiently.
Retail is a trend-heavy arm of the consumer market. Many retailers have turned to data analytics to optimize their in-store performances and examine trends to predict new products.
Retailers rely on positive customer experiences to generate new business and repeat clients. Analytics help improve those experiences by sourcing feedback from social media, call logs, web visits and company interactions. From there, retailers can leverage data to send personalized offers to critical demographics. They can handle issues quickly while also reducing customer churn.
Data’s role in healthcare is simple — it helps save lives. Hospitals, drug companies and researchers source massive amounts of data to improve our health and wellness.
Healthcare professionals also use data to improve treatment and quality of care — without increasing costs. Data analytics form a 360º view of patients’ care as they move through various departments for treatment. From there, healthcare leaders can review the data to improve outcomes.
Smartphones have taken over the world. They evolve almost daily, meaning manufacturers like Apple, Google and Samsung must leverage data analytics to meet new consumer demands.
As more smartphones hit the market, telecom firms must use data to monitor network performance. They can determine areas with excess capacity and divert bandwidth to address growing demand.
Markets and data go hand-in-hand. Financial firms leverage data analytics to capitalize on new opportunities, predict market movement and reduce fraud.
Cybersecurity proves a significant pain point for many business leaders, especially regarding their finances. Analytics help companies identify fraudulent patterns, which they can report to the proper authorities.
Benefits of Data Analytics in Business
Data serves a specialized purpose from business to business. However, data analytics also delivers more general benefits no matter your industry, such as:
Customer Acquisition and Retention
Organizations must take unique approaches to market their products and services to stand out. Data analytics can help companies navigate consumer demand and establish accurate target demographics on day one.
Data systems observe consumer patterns. They use those patterns to increase brand loyalty and identify emerging trends. Consider how Amazon became the most popular online shopping destination: they use data analytics to make suggestions based on previous searches and purchases.
Supply Chain Management
Every product — from apples to iPhones — moves through a complex network of suppliers, manufacturers, logistics firms and retailers. Data analytics helps each link in the supply chain increase visibility into its systems. Today, supply chain executives use data to improve network collaboration, thus applying new strategies to existing problems and scenarios.
Every business decision comes with some degree of risk. Using analytics to bolster your risk management processes will save you money in the long term.
The risk goes well beyond lousy investment bets and business practices. It also includes legal liability, employee theft and uncollected receivables. Robust analytics can help you track and counter these risks in tandem. For example, a retail chain can run predictive models to see which stores are at a higher risk for theft. They can then bolster security at that location — or divest altogether.
Creating a Foolproof Data Analytics Strategy
Today’s fast-paced business world requires companies to make swift decisions confidently. Data analytics is the only way to do so confidently in the modern environment. Let’s walk through the six-step process for crafting and implementing a bullet-proof analytics strategy.
1. Determine Your Key Stakeholders
Key stakeholders have a vested interest in your data platform. They’re excited to dive into the use cases, and their long-term goals are to make the company more data-oriented. Source the team from different branches of your company to ensure all organizational goals and interests are met.
2. Examine How You’re Currently Using Data
Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current data strategies:
- How do we access data currently?
- What tools are we using to solve problems with data?
- What’s a frequent question we struggle to answer?
- Are there any manual and repetitive tasks we can automate?
- What does our current data platform look like?
- What data streams does that platform embody?
These discovery sessions will reveal pain points in your current data analytics strategy. They’ll also cover recent data use cases, platform technologies, and the state of your digital assets.
3. Establish an Analytics Operating Model
Also known as your delivery model, your analytics operating model will inform your decisions. The three most common models are:
- Decentralized: Units operate autonomously while maintaining standardized practice to meet requirements and make decisions.
- Federated: A central team maintains control at the enterprise level. They set structures for individual units to follow; individual units then make their own decisions based on those structures.
- Centralized: The central team is the single point of control and decision-making. Individual units have little to no responsibility.
4. Invest in Data Technology
Like your other IT investments, an analytics platform must support current and future business needs. It has to be cost-effective, scalable, user-friendly, and secure. Remember, your data is among your most valuable and sensitive assets. Thus, security must be top-of-mind when choosing the right analytics platform.
5. Draw a Data Strategy Roadmap
Your data roadmap pulls together all the work you’ve done thus far. Define the expected business value you hope to achieve from your analytics strategy. Prioritize activities that are easily implemented and provide quick wins for your business as building blocks to more meaningful goals. Data analytics is a marathon, not a sprint.
6. Establish a Culture of Data Literacy
Data means nothing if you and your employees must learn how to read and use it. Leverage training courses to teach your staff how to handle analytics challenges with your new tools. A handful of employees will likely take the latest tools and run with them. Make them your data coaches and have them instruct others on how to read and use information.
Build Your Business on a Bedrock of Data Analytics — The Right Way
Harnessing the power of data analytics will propel your company into the future. However, understanding how to read, leverage and implement an analytics strategy is crucial to effective data management.
Business leaders can rely on data experts to protect their business data. Our dedicated team of data experts provides world-class consulting, fosters long-term partnerships, and builds strategic technological solutions for all our clients.
Get in touch with Growth Acceleration Partners today to build a data-driven foundation for your business, and future-proof your operations.