An enormous amount of data is generated on a daily basis and business leaders are still learning how take advantage of this information through the effective use of business intelligence (BI) tools. The benefits associated with utilizing BI are apparent. Armed with data-driven insights, it’s easier to understand, predict, and make important decisions for the future.
For instance, McKinsey recently estimated that retail businesses stand to increase operating margins by at least 60 percent with the effective use of data and analytics. It’s clear that the importance of BI tools in today’s business operations cannot be ignored.
Unfortunately, there is a misguided perception that managing data is a cumbersome and expensive undertaking, one which hinders businesses from achieving timely BI insights. These concerns are certainly valid given the increasing complexity of the data available to businesses of all sizes, but it’s crucial for organizations to understand the solutions as well. While there are many keys to overcoming these challenges, the first is to identify ways to simplify the efforts and discover manageable solutions that will help to collect, analyze, and visualize data.
Simplifying your BI allows data to have the most effective impact on your decision-making processes — without investing too much in hardware or analysts. The rise of cloud and self-service solutions, moreover, present a significantly easier and more affordable approach to BI, one which can translate into an average of 73 percent savings.
Moving beyond the premise of big data, there’s no question that companies are currently prone to the pitfalls of increasingly complex data. This is largely due to the growth in disparate data sources, data types, and relationships.
Unfortunately, the powerful opportunity to gain valuable insights is often overshadowed by the cost and effort involved in these analytics tools in the first place. Businesses will often face conflicting information due to multiple perspectives, experiences, and opinions coming from different data sets. In order to overcome this confusion, you will need to adopt techniques and deploy solutions that will actually simplify your BI efforts, thereby contributing positively to the decision-making process and the bottom line.
Many businesses are currently benefiting from the increased availability of data from sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine-generated data also plays a substantial role across multiple business sectors, including retail, infrastructure, and more. In addition, businesses can leverage social sentiment as part of their data inputs. These resources can assist in optimizing sales, marketing, and even product development.
According to a data complexity matrix illustrated in a white paper published by Sisense and Ventana Research, organizations need to integrate at least six data sources on average. These disparate data sets might seem so compartmentalized that they each tell their own stories, especially when using different solutions to gather the data.