How many times have you heard the clarion call for medium-sized businesses to get into big data and analytics? It would seem that every article on the matter ends up with one recommendation. And that is – enterprise should harness the power of big data to help them make sound business decisions.
The message is clear: either you use big data and analytics, or your competitors will force you to shut your doors. Having all that information, knowing what to do with it, and learning how to interpret it is very important in differentiating your company, products, services, and even processes.
You get to offer something new at the perfect time. You can even discover untapped markets. You can fine-tune your marketing to make it more effective and more affordable as well.
How different businesses are using data and analytics
Did you know that we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day? In fact, 90 percent of all information was created only in the past two years.
However, a big part of data that we do get is ignored. According to Barrett Digital’s Jeff Barrett, we only analyze up to 27 percent of data. Maybe it’s because doing it wrong can cost you money. For example, according to the Harvard Business Review, bad data costs the United States $3 trillion a year.
So how should you use data you’ve gathered?
It will largely depend on the type of business you have. For instance, retailers can use data visualization and video analytics to learn more about foot traffic into their stores.
Meanwhile, financial services and creditors can use data to help enhance their risk models. This, in turn, can lead to better and more accurate risk assessments. Finally, lenders will be able to loan money to people who deserve it and will most likely pay it back.
No matter what industry you’re in, data and analytics can help. But what’s more exciting is that there are new technologies that can bring about more business value while also involving less work and complexity.
Midsized enterprises, data, and analytics: What you can expect
Of course, there are emerging trends in the area of data and analytics for midsized businesses. Significant developments, such as the growing adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning, are not to be ignored.
Gartner’s VP analyst Alan D. Duncan gives us a look into these patterns.
- Adopting visual data.
The days of looking at data from different sources using a variety of platforms are over. You now have technology that can pull data from various sources and then present it to you visually.
What is data visualization? It is the process of getting all data you have and then making it usable. You can graph out key indicators and metrics, making the data easy to read and understand. As such, you have better insights that are fueled by more information — the data that you already have but have been largely ignored.
Data visualization can help you see patterns and see distributions for several factors. You can also discover the relationships between two or more variables.
This way, even non-technical business leaders will be able to find data and insights, allowing them to solve business problems. Moreover, they can quickly evaluate new initiatives because visual data can help them know if these are effective or not.
These visual data platforms live on the cloud, which means that flexibility and scalability are to be expected. What’s more, cloud platforms often have better diagnostic and analytical capabilities.
- Using data preparation tools for better data governance and more productivity.
Data preparation is going to be complicated, and most midsized enterprises will not have the right resources to carry out proper data preparation. However, data preparation is a process that allows you to get better and streamlined data. It can also improve data sharing.
The good news is that you now have the tools to prepare your data. These tools make it a breeze for you to discover connections within the information that you have and then share your findings with others.
What’s more, newer technologies such as data catalogs and machine learning are introducing new ways to make it easier for you to work with your data and allow you to share it effortlessly.
- Automation and self-service via augmented analytics.
Data visualization addresses issues some midsized companies might have with analytics and data. However, knowing which insights are essential, as well as creating the analytics models to use, is still a pain point that is both time-consuming and complex.
Good thing that you now have access to artificial intelligence technologies that can make everything simpler. For instance, AI can help you prepare data, discover insights, and then share these with the rest of the team.
Artificial intelligence allows stakeholders to discover, visualize, and then point out the critical and relevant correlations, segments, clusters, exceptions, outliers, predictions, and other analytical findings.
AI can do all these without needing you to write algorithms or spend time building analytical models.
- Use predictive analytics.
You might have heard about predictive analytics, which was used in marketing to find out what customers are going to buy or what they are going to do. This technology is now being used in business applications. And the results are amazing. Not only that, predictive analytics also gives you better quality data at volumes that you may not have seen before.
There are now packaged applications that can help you deploy predictive analytics into your system. However, if you find it limited when it comes to customization and agility, you can always have your in-house IT team do it for you.
Follow the trends for a profitable future.
Needless to say, these are technologies that you need to embrace if you hope to compete in the future. Business decisions are based on data, and the only way you can harness data correctly is by having the right technologies in place.
Oracle Database has Oracle Advanced Analytics and Oracle Machine Learning to help midsized businesses handle their data and make the most out of it. Don’t know where to start?
Fortunately, you have Four Cornerstone to rely on. With a team of experts, you can quickly gain all the technologies, hardware, and software you need to adopt the new trends.
Four Cornerstone will set up and teach you everything. Give your company an edge, call us today at (817) 377-1144.
Photo courtesy of Deepak Pal.