It’s almost 2021, and data analytics has only become more important to more aspects of running a business. Your company is operating in fast-changing business markets that fluctuate on an hourly basis, if not more often than that.
COVID-19 accelerated the process of digital transformation that’s been slowly traveling around the world. If your basic business analytics strategy once gave you an edge over your competitors, that edge may have evaporated. Countless other companies have raced to join you.
Meanwhile, today’s global economy is weakened by the coronavirus, leaving concerned consumers and businesses tightening their belts and budgets.
In this challenging business climate, it’s even more imperative for you to seize every advantage that data can give you, propelling your business intelligence (BI) on to new levels that keep you ahead of the competition.
You need data-driven business decisions, insights into efficiencies and improvements you can make within your organization, and reliable predictions about customer behavior and market changes. Advanced business intelligence tools are no longer a luxury, but a must-have, but it’s not just enough to acquire them.
You need to discover how to adopt and apply them in the most effective way possible, so that you can double down on your company’s BI activity to fuel growth and revenue in the coming year.
Make BI Available to All
It’s all too easy for organizations to end up fencing off their more advanced data tools and BI platforms for the data science team, but it’s also a mistake that cuts off data insights from your broader workforce.
Make a conscious decision to encourage employees to use BI tools and access data, by removing the silos that otherwise spring up around them. Many people who aren’t familiar with data analysis tools find the interface confusing. It’s wise to have your team opt for a simplified interface that’s more suitable for beginners.
You’ll also need to offer BI training throughout the organization. Instead of establishing your analysts as data guardians, turn them into data enablers who educate the rest of your workforce to become data users.
If you have an AI-enabled BI system, it will naturally learn from user feedback and train users as they experiment with it. Craft dashboards that guide users towards the right data by prioritizing the most relevant data analytics, choosing which datasets your deployment should surface, and finding ways to integrate advanced BI tools for the greatest impact.
Control Your Data, Don’t Let Data Control You
To say that big data can be overwhelming is an understatement. One of the main requirements of BI strategy is to help you narrow down which data you need and turn it into a tool that serves you, so you’ll no longer feel helpless in the face of it. This is especially important when you’re opening up data access to less-experienced data users within your organization.
To that end, you need to identify the primary challenges and opportunities that you face and establish an end goal as the focus for your analytics strategy. Assess what lies ahead for your business and consider how your corporate goals are evolving, so that you can harness advanced analytics technology like AI and ML to provide the insights and predictions you need, instead of throwing out red herrings that lead you off in the wrong direction.
Cloud-based platforms can help you with this task. When you use cloud-based analytics and BI tools, you can bring your glut of data together in a single repository, instead of hunting down siloed datasets that are generated by different IoT devices and monitoring systems. Cloud-based BI has the compute power to help you cope with and understand all your data at once, without compromising on security.
Think Outside the Data Box
While you need to keep your data strategy focused to avoid getting overwhelmed and distracted, you don’t want to miss valuable insights just because they aren’t where you expect to find them. Many organizations stick to analyzing traditional datasets like sales metrics, customer behavior patterns, financial reports and marketing event activity, but there are many other data sources that could prove equally beneficial to your business strategy decisions.
Branch out into new categories of data that can give you new insights and a different perspective on your organization, your customers and your markets, while still remaining relevant to your core business strategy.
As you add new data categories and sources, you’ll discover the hidden advantages of cloud analytics. Cloud platforms obviate the need to invest in large data centers or extra servers, speeding up your time to value and helping you prove or disprove the relevance of new datasets. An end-to-end cloud-based native analytics solution that manages all your data in one place enables you to spot new connections and investigate new data categories more quickly.
In 2021, BI Is Pivotal
The coming year is going to be the litmus test for many companies that recently and hastily conducted a digital transformation and adopted advanced data analysis, as well as for those organizations that digitally transformed long ago but need to hold on to their lead. By opening up access to BI tools throughout your organization, remaining in control of your data, and expanding to new data categories, you can maximize business intelligence to ensure that your company survives and thrives, whatever 2021 may throw at it.