Today, data is all around us and the term “big data” is equally ubiquitous.
At its core, big data is about extracting intelligence from the vast amounts of data available to an organisation.
Internally, this data comes from customer records, Excel spreadsheets, business applications and more.
External data, collected from outside the organisation, can also provide valuable insight.
Weather patterns help manufacturers get a head start on seasonal demand and social media data can drive a successful marketing campaign.
Companies that don’t capitalise on big data run the risk of being left behind in terms of understanding customers, controlling costs, streamlining processes and more.
When employed correctly, big data means big intelligence and big insight.
Seeing, understanding and making use of big data can be hard work but sophisticated business intelligence (BI) software can help.
The latest BI technologies enable businesses to turn data into actionable insight.
These tools are intuitive and designed for everyone, whether you are a marketing manager or a sales administration assistant.
With the right BI tools, anyone can simply “point and click” to turn a large amount of data into easy-to-understand graphs and images.
Setting up a big data infrastructure can present challenges such as the talent gap.
There is huge demand for data scientists and other experts holding titles that have only recently come into existence.
Companies may also encounter challenges around scalability.
The amount and type of data waiting to be uncovered can overwhelm resources and impede an organisation’s ability to collect, store and analyse all the data.
Organisations can overcome these challenges by working with an experienced technology consultancy to find the solution that’s right for them.
Here are examples of how organisations in every sector can reap the benefits of big data:
1. Manufacturing and supply Chain
Optimising a supply chain is complex.
With multiple functions and stakeholders, manufacturers need a BI solution that can blend a huge amount of diverse information in one easy-to-understand dashboard.
BI tools, supported by a complete solution from a technology consultancy, can bring together key data in the form of charts, maps and other graphs.
When business leaders, including those with limited technology expertise, use real-time numbers to establish meaningful metrics, they can deliver a more efficient and cost-effective supply chain.
Retailers already use data to track what happens at the point of sale, but new BI software enables them to understand what happens at the “point-of-decision”.
Location analytics can show how customers move around the retail space and where they pick up the items they are most likely to buy, turning the floor of the store into a narrative map.
Executives are able to literally see frequently trafficked areas and key purchase points, enabling them to make smarter layout decisions.
3. IT service management
Smart players in the IT service management sector are moving away from their break-fix reputation to catch problems before they become critical.
Data visualisation can help by creating a live map of every element on the corporate network and linking it to clear performance metrics, revealing potential problems before they strike.
When engineers can see a living, breathing diagram of the network, they are empowered to take early action and investigate potential problems before they disrupt the business.
Finance departments are inundated with data and traditional graphics can’t always tell the whole story.
With BI tools and the right technology consultancy, critical information can be communicated to non-finance departments in a way that’s easy to understand and leads to quicker insight and action.
Within the financial services industry, forward-looking companies are already turning to big data to detect fraud, perform customer segmentation analysis and predict which products and services card holders will want next.
5. Public Sector
Government bodies hold incredible amounts of data, much of which is constantly changing.
BI tools can show political candidates what voters want and empower leaders to make informed decisions based on analytics of complex information from a wide variety of sources.
When represented as a graphical image, data can help leaders predict natural disasters so that hospitals and emergency services are prepared, optimise use of resources and improve transparency and decision-making within the government.
In order to uncover the data and trends that can help them grow, organizations across every sector must find the right partners and leverage the best technologies.
With sophisticated BI tools, any organization can build the best experience for every stakeholder, ultimately generating new opportunities and boosting revenue.
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