Advances in big data and analytics have allowed executives, sales managers, and IT professionals to collect and analyze an extraordinary amount of data on everything from customer buying habits to service providers to employee behavior.
Being able to sort through this data and drill down to the most important insights ensures a company is able to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. However, for many companies, the sheer volume and variety of data makes it difficult to wade through it all and identify the emerging trends and insights. Several factors prevent executives from identifying one comprehensive view of their data to guide their decision making. As John Naisbit once wrote, “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”
Let's discuss a few issues which may result from the data explosion.
Volume of data
Companies are drowning in the data they’ve collected. Having too much data makes it difficult to decipher which data to focus on. From customer transaction data, internal supply chain data, and company performance data, businesses don’t know how to analyze data effectively and efficiently so it can be used across the company.
Lack of meaningful insight
Despite having a sea of data to access, many companies cannot draw the important insights they need to turn data into actionable information. This is because many companies have no analysis system in place to evaluate their data for meaningful insights. Only with relevant insight into customers, service providers, and products, can an enterprise identify the actions it needs to take to acquire, serve, and retain its customers. An important benefit to having such as system in place is more intelligent customer interactions which leads to improved customer experiences. An ocean of data is useless unless it is converted into meaningful knowledge to aid decision-making.
Before the development of business intelligence, a department had to wait days for IT to run reports that were often irrelevant by the time they were generated. Businesses could not make snapshot decisions like they can today. Today’s technology is evolving very fast. The ability to leverage data in a timely manner is impossible without innovative technology. In our super-competitive market, companies must have the ability to rapidly search the massive volume of data collected to find and interpret the information relevant to critical decision-making. Without the ability to make snapshot decisions, a company cannot hope to compete in today’s market.
Poor connection between insights and action
Drawing insights out of curated data has little value until a company tests and acts upon those insights. The most successful companies provide training to employees in the new methods and skills necessary to work with unfamiliar technology. Training helps to establish a new data-driven culture within the organization. Many people struggle with change, this is especially true if the new technology is not intuitive. Providing business intelligence software that is easy to use can relieve this hesitation and increase user acceptance. Also, businesses can take advantage of free online courses that help employees develop the analytical skills necessary to thrive in this data-driven marketplace.
The solution is business intelligence
To effectively deal with the data deluge, having business intelligence software is essential to keeping your head above water. Business intelligence, such as Phocas can help in several ways.
First, it is designed so your most important data can be accessed through an automated system which provides a single view of the whole enterprise. By utilizing Phocas’ dashboard, businesses can automate the process of analyzing information to provide absolute clarity and valuable insights in areas such as sales, finance, stock control, customer relations and cost control.
Acting upon this information increases profit margins. With Phocas, reporting that "used to take hours now takes minutes". At Phocas, we pull together data that is already sitting in your customer, financial, and supply chain records. With our software, your data can now be queried and the relevant data presented as a single grid, dashboard, or charted view of your entire enterprise.
The increased accessibility to your data from a range of devices including tablets, alongside automatic updates can guarantee your business has the most relevant information in the most accessible format, providing your company ‘one view of the truth’ and an edge in our competitive market place.