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Move Beyond the Buzzword of Analytics

Unlocking Analytics: Exclusive Insights from Jon Payne,
Director of Sales Engineering | InterSystems

The potential of harnessing analytic capabilities is widely acknowledged as a game-changer for organisations. However, many businesses view embarking on an analytics journey as a daunting task. In this Q+A with our director of sales engineering and education Jon Payne, we look at how organisations can move beyond the buzzword of analytics to extract real value and why data quality is a major part of this.

Analytics holds huge promise for businesses, what are the reasons for that?

Alongside powerful artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business intelligence tools, analytics helps businesses to not just understand historical data, but also to predict future trends, automate decision-making processes, and obtain actionable insights. This allows businesses to increase efficiency and accuracy, and enables them to adopt more sophisticated data-driven strategies to drive their enterprise forward.

As organisations look to adopt analytic capabilities, what is the most common challenge they are likely to experience?

The most prominent issue tends to be that businesses to dive headfirst into tactics without having a clear strategy in place. This is often down to the allure of numerous tools and the large number of benefits on offer. However, we find that this frequently results in limited success and a disappointing return on investment (ROI).

You mention having a strategy to guide their analytics efforts, what does this look like?

Ultimately, it calls for business leaders to take a more strategic approach in which they identify individual use cases that will deliver the greatest strategic value to their organisation. This focused approach enables business leaders to demonstrate the tangible benefits and ROI of each individual analytics application.

It also helps them to learn from each application and understand whether the initial use case can be replicated or scaled. Insights and lessons learnt can then be applied to subsequent use cases.

How do you recommend businesses identify use cases for analytics?

The first step business leaders should take is asking themselves a series of questions, I think the top have to be:

  • Where in the organisation would you feel the most benefit from analytic capabilities?
  • How would implementing analytics in this use case support your strategic business objectives?
  • What people, process, and technology capabilities are required to support these use cases?

The answers to these questions will help to guide their analytics journey and pinpoint where it can have the greatest impact. It can also help to ensure that analytics applications yield better, more impactful results in both the long- and short-term.
In terms of the processes and technology, data is fundamental to any analytics initiative, so a robust data strategy with the right technology for acquiring clean, healthy, real-time data are essential.

Why is data so fundamental to analytics applications?

It’s not an exaggeration to say the success of analytics hinges on the integrity of the data used. The reliance of analytics on high-quality, clean data cannot be overstated. Inferior data quality directly translates to subpar analytics outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to invest in the necessary technology and processes to ensure their data is clean, harmonised, and being shown in real-time. It’s this commitment to data health that is essential to extract the maximum value from analytics and equip organisations with actionable insights for informed decision-making.

Our clients are turning to smart data fabrics to streamline their analytics efforts and meet their people, process, and technology needs. The smart data fabric accesses, transforms, and harmonises data from multiple sources, on demand, to make it usable and actionable for a wide variety of business applications.

With InterSystems IRIS data platform at its core, the fabric has embedded analytics capabilities, including data exploration, business intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning, which make it faster and easier for organisations to gain new insights and power intelligent predictive and prescriptive services and applications. Self-service capabilities enable every business user to interrogate live data to make timely and accurate data-driven decisions, regardless of their technical skillset. This helps business leaders discern which use cases would benefit most from analytics so they can then implement strategically.

What are the benefits of taking this approach to analytics?

It empowers business leaders to use analytics as a cornerstone of their decision-making process. In the supply chain sector, for example, this would allow them to predict disruption and opportunity in real-time, enabling business leaders to re-route or resupply at the drop of a hat. Meanwhile, in the financial services industry, analytics capabilities can help business leaders obtain the actionable insights and transparency needed to reduce risk, develop new products and revenue sources faster, and ensure compliance with ever-changing regulatory requirements.

Taking a measured approach to implementing analytics also improves adaptability and helps to foster a culture of innovation and agility – all of which goes a long way to ensuring long-term success in today's dynamic business environment.

Find out more about how your business could benefit from analytics.

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