This opinion piece originally appeared on The Australian.
Over the last year, Big Data has become increasingly more important for companies of all sizes. As data has become readily available, it has created an environment of opportunity but also uncertainty, as businesses compete with greater demands for information from customers and employees alike. Business stakeholders are increasingly demanding information quicker or in “real time” and in a manner that is easily consumable, to enable them to optimise business outcomes.
Demands for access to ‘real time’ data is being coupled with the increasing complexity within businesses. Stakeholders shouldn’t need to rely on difficult-to-use software or human gatekeepers to gain access to relevant information from across the business. Most people are mobile and expect information as they need it , whilst mobile.
Some organisations have tried tackling these challenges by creating comprehensive strategies to ensure all decision makers are able to benefit from access to relevant data and analytics. While the intent is to trigger better-informed decisions and actions that move the company toward strategic or operational goals, it has, in fact, led to the age-old challenge of having too much data and being unable to make it quickly consumable to the busy business users, across the whole business.
To combat this, Business Intelligence (BI) software was developed enabling the visualisation of data and assist the deciphering of it by analysts. However BI has some inherent flaws, it leaves data stagnant and business users unable to easily draw parallels between how the data interacts. So, how do businesses provide their stakeholders with access to real time data that visualises the correlation in data and enables business users to optimise their business, by collaborating around key business metrics as things occur not day or weeks later?
By transforming its data from Intelligence to Optimisation.
Business Optimisation is a transformational evolution of BI, aimed at the business user. It enables stakeholders to deep dive into their data. Business users are now able to understand how their data interacts and using these insights, enact changes in processes to optimise business growth. Business Optimisation is driving the pace of change within the analytics industry and has a dramatic effect on how businesses will view and digest their business data in 2017. In the same way, hardware became virtualized then virtualisation was disrupted as large scale cloud evolved within a decade, the same thing has happened with data. Large scale on premise systems were disrupted by desktop based BI tools, however within a few years, Business Optimisation has quickly disrupted the old approach. Why, because commonly 85% of business users were not being served with consumable information around which they cold collaborate to make real time decisions
Business user are wanting to make better business decisions and to do this they are demanding deeper insights and analytics from their data, quicker. Through Business Optimisation, business users are able to further utilise raw data to make more accurate informed decisions based on real-time data through the power of business optimization.
Data visualization tools have become more than just pretty graphs — giving us the right answers, dynamically, as trends change. Truly dynamic dashboards have become the new visualisation standard. Businesses requirements are demanding automatically updating and evolving dashboards that provide users with new charts, graphs and perspectives. These graphs will assist in revealing hidden insights that would left uncovered by existing BI dashboards. To achieve this a fully integrated platform encompassing API standards, auto connection to date, visualistion, collaboration and optimised alerting is critical.
There is a growing call for an industry-wide API standards, especially as software becomes even more integrated. Consumers and businesses will only benefit from these standards, as businesses look to further integrate world-leading software, applications or products into their solutions, bringing together a fast and flexible ecosystem. The free passage of information will ultimately allow businesses to truly utilise their data across the business, and empower business users to make better and more informed decisions. However, this will only be achievable through an industry-wide open API standard.
Throughout 2016, we increasingly saw analytics being built into every App, SaaS, and IoT product. This is something that we will continue to see this in the coming year and is coined the Analytics of Everything (AoE). Analytics is already imbedded into a number of personal apps, such as banking and health apps, but will become even more widespread across the enterprise. Many companies have started connecting these successes to create something bigger, developing ideas to go beyond the siloed use of data to fuel insights and decision-making across the all sectors of the business. It is becoming critical for organisations to be developing an integrated combination of strategy, people, processes, data and technology that empowers them to provide insights across the business.
Big Data is undergoing a transformation. As businesses continue to look for efficiencies within their processes, they need access to digestible, meaningful and up-to-date data. Business optimisation is a next-generation technology that is changing the face of data analytics, building efficiencies into companies and providing businesses of all sizes with a competitive advantage.