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Insights On Maximising The Value Of Big Data With Business Intelligence

It’s been a big year for Big Data, with continued advances of interconnected technologies creating immensely large datasets. The challenge that comes with uncovering insights and developing strategies from such a colossal variety of data sources has led to the development of faster and smarter Business Intelligence tools that have changed the way businesses work, interact, collaborate and secure information.

“The new benefits that Big Data Analytics brings to the table are speed and efficiency. A few years ago, a business would have gathered information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions. Today, that business can identify insights for immediate decisions. The ability to work faster – and stay agile – gives organisations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.” – SAS.

Big Data is a corporate asset that’s most valuable when delivered with speed and accuracy, and measured for competitive advantage with the best tools in the market. To increase the opportunities it can bring, an organisation must ensure that there are no shortcomings in the tools used to make sense of information that could magnify their competitive advantage.

“To truly maximise the value from Big Data, your data must reflect the real state of affairs at any given moment in time. Any insights generated by AI apps must be able to adapt rapidly to fluctuations in the dynamic business ecosystem — otherwise, you’re wasting the valuable time of your data scientists and senior leadership.” – Phani Nagarjuna: Founder & CEO of Nuevora Analytics.

 

BI TOOLS IN THE MARKET

A critical driver for making better decisions lies in how data is analysed and how to make sense of the information it uncovers. We’ve compiled an illustrative set of BI tools available in the market for your business to harness the most value from your data in the coming year.

 

Tableau

“Tableau helps people transform data into actionable insights. Explore with limitless visual analytics. Build dashboards and perform ad hoc analyses in just a few clicks. Share your work with anyone and make an impact on your business. From global enterprises to early-stage startups and small businesses, people everywhere use Tableau to see and understand their data.” – Tableau.

 

Qlik

“Search and explore vast amounts of data – all your data. With Qlik, you’re not constrained by preconceived notions of how data should be related, but can finally understand how it truly is related. Analyse, reveal, collaborate and act. Qlik lets you turn data into insights across all aspects of your business.” – Qlik.

 

Microsoft Power BI

“Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyse data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in real time, and available on all of their devices. With one click, users can explore the data behind their dashboard using intuitive tools that make finding answers easy.” – Microsoft Power BI.

 

Yellowfin BI

“Yellowfin offers the only analytics platform that combines machine learning, visualisation, collaboration and storytelling to provide customers with the quickest time to value.” – Yellowfin.

 

SAS Visual Analytics

“With SAS® Visual Analytics, now everyone can discover, share and collaborate on insights. Visualise data in new ways with features in our new release – including third party customisable graphs, a refined user experience to improve productivity, self-service data preparation, and the power of location analytics to visualise data in new contexts and bring the ‘where’ dimension to the forefront. These enhancements will highlight and provide understanding for key relationships, outliers, clusters and more, revealing vital insights that inspire action.” – Andrei M: CTO at Data Science Central.

 

Sisense

“Sisense’s BI software makes it easy to instantly reveal business insights from complex data – any data source, any size.” – Sisense.

 

Gartner Magic Quadrant For BI & Analytics 2017

There are a lot of players in the BI market, and Gartner Magic Quadrant 2017 highlights which tools are the top performers.

 

BI PREDICTIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR

“We asked users, consultants and software vendors of BI and data management technology to rate their personal view of the importance of twenty trending topics that we presented to them. Data quality/master data management, data discovery/visualisation and self-service BI are the three topics BI practitioners identify as the most important trends in their work.” – BARC’s BI Trend Monitor 2018.

Here in Australia, Contexti’s own experiences, and those reported by our partners, align to these top three trending topics. Whilst visualisation and self-service BI are well recognised, the strength of the current trend toward Data Governance (data quality, MDM, security) has strongly spiked.

 

Data Quality & Master Data Management (MDM)

Master data management is achieved by standardising, matching and consolidating common data elements across Big Data sources such as customer, supplier or product data from disparate applications or silos into a single master view of an organisation’s data.

Data quality plays a big part in this, as post-validation is essential for master data. This includes conducting a baseline assessment to identify any potential data quality issues that must be addressed.

For an organisation to be successful with MDM, a clear strategy must be put in place, including KPIs, data management process, and documentation of data domains.

 

Data Discovery & Visualisation

Data discovery is about mining through the data your business has collected from its many sources by visually navigating through it to detect patterns and outliers. Data visualisation is critical because it facilitates a better understanding among key decision makers in an organisation of what the information represents.

Data discovery tools such as Microsoft Power BI, Qlik Sense and many more have enabled businesses to overcome many business problems through fast access to advanced functions, algorithms and interactive dashboards.

 

Self-Service BI

Self-service BI allows business users to access and work with corporate data even though they do not have a background in data mining or statistical analysis, giving them ability to carry out BI tasks without involving the IT department.

“Functional workers can make faster, better decisions because they no longer have to wait during long reporting backlogs. At the same time, technical teams will be freed from the burden of satisfying end user report requests, so they can focus their efforts on more strategic IT initiatives.” – Information Builders.

 

 

To discuss Business Intelligence and other topics, please contact the team at Contexti – +61 8294 2161 | connect@contexti.com

 

For more resources, please see below:

Self-Service BI

Big Data Analytics – What It Is & Why It Matters

What’s Big In Big Data: Predictions For 2018

Data Governance, Data Quality & Master Data Management

Data Visualisation Vs. Data Discovery: What’s The Difference?

Key Challenges For Monetising Big Data Powered AI – Analytic Continuity

The Incredible Ways Heineken Uses Big Data, The Internet Of Things and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

How Big Data Is Changing The Customer Experience & Improving SEO

The most powerful driver of success is a great customer experience, and almost every organisation is placing this at the core of of their strategy. But in order to provide excellence at every touchpoint of the customer journey, businesses must utilise data in the best way possible to understand their customers.

Digital innovation is accelerating our ability to do this at a great scale. Personalisation, optimisation and better-targeted campaigns are among the many benefits of insights derived from Big Data Analytics. But where do you start?

 

#1 – CROSS-CHANNEL ANALYTICS

“While volume, variety and velocity are good, value is always better.” – Experian.

The primary goal of digital marketers today is getting an ROI on their marketing efforts. Analysing the activity of customers across different channels, seeing which channels are performing better and how they work together can help you make the most out of your marketing budget. Finding golden pieces of information out of the mass volume of data your organisation has collected isn’t always easy. But digital marketers are finding tons of valuable data through the multi-channel funnel of google analytics, providing a single view of all the information needed to understand customer behaviour and measure performance.

“Cross-channel analytics seeks to provide insight into the path that the customer takes to conversion. This can take multiple forms; including understanding which channels combine to drive conversion, what popular paths are across and within channels, and finally detailed analysis of specific visitor paths.” – Matt Lawson: Managing Director of Ads Marketing at Google.

 

#2 – CUSTOMER DATA MANAGEMENT

“Businesses grapple with huge quantities and varieties of data on one hand, and ever-faster expectations for analysis on the other. The vendor community is responding by providing highly distributed architectures and new levels of memory and processing power.” – Doug Henschen: VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation research, Inc.

Data analytics tools help you collect, recover and categorise customer data according to profile, geolocation, purchase history and preferences in order to keep track of customer behaviour and target people more effectively.

“The social attributes of your customers is important if you want to deliver them highly satisfying experience for your business. Big Data can give valuable information regarding the social interactions of your customers, what their shopping preferences are and the kind of products they regularly need.” – Jason Bowden: Portfolio Manager of Enterprise Data Platforms at Cox Automotive Inc.

 

#3 – IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Are you frustrated by online shoppers who don’t make it past the first page of the checkout? You’re not the only one. There are many things you can do improve the online customer experience like good web design, helpful site search and making sure that navigating through your website is made as easy as possible.

Big Data Analytics helps us explore the best pathways to success/conversion. For example, analysing how your payment gateway optimises your customer experience.

“Customer psychology is enough of a minefield all by itself – you really don’t want to give them any additional reasons to abandon the cart.” – Shopify.

 

#4 – SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Kissmetrics.

Using data science to get valuable insights into your website’s performance can answer a lot of your SEO questions so you can make better informed decisions and and be well on your way to higher keyword rankings and brand awareness. But the key with search engine optimisation is patience, as these results may not appear overnight. However, tracking our progress has become much easier with tools such as Tableau, BigQuery, Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

“The more information you possess, the better results you’ll see from your SEO strategies.” – Liza Perstneva: Corporate Speaker Coordinator at SEMrush.

 

#5 – DATA ACCURACY

“Improving the customer experience is the end game, but getting there requires more than data. It requires the right data, from multiple channels, integrated to give a holistic picture of the customer journey.” – Harvard Business Review.

In order to make decisions that are customer-centric, you need to ensure that the data you’re analysing is a true reflection of what’s really happening. Fortunately, popular cleansing tools like DataWrangler and OpenRefine can help your business generate more trustworthy insights, and even speed up information processing.

Going the extra mile when analysing your data pays off, and certain platforms like Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop can provide you with the efficient and accurate processing of data you’re looking for.

 

For more resources, please see below:

 

Cross-Channel Analytics:

Harnessing Big Data For Cross-Channel Success

Benefits Of Cross-Channel Analytics For Search Marketers

 

Improving The Customer Journey:

Marketing Analytics Can Improve The Customer Experience

 

Customer Data Management:

Journey To Customer Insight

Digital Marketing Optimisation

7 Ways To Effectively Manage Your Customer Data

5 Ways To Optimise Customer Experiences With Big Data

 

Search Engine Optimisation:

How Data Science Can Impact SEO

How Your Payment Gateway Impacts Your Customer Experience

Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience Using Big Data

4 Checkout Conversion Killers That May Drive Your Buyers Away

 

Data Accuracy:

How To Clean Your Data Quickly In Five Steps

Five Big Data Skills That Will Help You Get Ahead In The Tech Industry

“The IT labor market is still very hot. The candidate is very much in the driver’s seat,” Jason Hayman: Market Research Manager at TEKsystems.

Businesses need confidence in their decision making process. Today, this means turning to the factual and reliable information derived from data. With many organisations looking to stay ahead of the competitive curve with techniques like data science and deep learning, this leaves a big window of opportunity for those with these in-demand skills.

If you’re a job seeker looking to up your analytics game, you may want to consider developing these skills:


#1 – HARNESS THE POWER OF BI TOOLS

“Today, tools such as Tableau and Power BI are a must to obtain business information in the correct desired form. This includes setting up the data source, data cleaning mechanism and analysis algorithms.” – Rhucha Kulkarni: Associate Features Editor at ReadITQuik.

Business Intelligence (BI) tools are applications, programs and software used to locate, analyse and document data. It is used to simplify the flow of data, making it more manageable. Access to accurate information in the right place and right form is a must-have for businesses looking to make the most of data in a reliable and time-effective way.

 

#2 – CONVERT KNOWLEDGE INTO ACTION

“Companies are trying to make sense of what the data can tell them about how to do business better. That, in turn, is fueling demand for people who can make sense of the information.” – Yuki Noguchi: Correspondent at NPR.

The ability to understand and utilise data to drive success can make you a big asset to an organisation. It’s not just about monitoring data, it’s about developing a solution strategy with the insights you’ve generated. Learning how to best utilise BI software can help you achieve this.

“This technology provides companies with actionable insights and greater visibility into their customers’ buying habits and trends so that they can always stay one step ahead of the competition.” – Paul Black: Data Marketing Magazine.

 

#3 – STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION WITH PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS

“Today’s business applications are raking in mountains of new customer, market, social listening, and real-time app, cloud, or product performance data. Predictive analytics is one way to leverage all of that information, gain tangible new insights, and stay ahead of the competition.” – Rob Marvin: Assistant Editor at PC Mag.

The ability to use existing data to identify future risks and opportunities is an essential skill in the field of Data Analytics. Many industries like marketing, finance and healthcare can benefit from the forecasts created by statistical modeling, machine learning and other technologies.

“These techniques can provide managers and executives with decision-making tools to influence upselling, sales and revenue forecasting, manufacturing optimization, and even new product development.” – Georgetown University.

 

#4 – ENHANCE YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS

“Businesses face complex problems every day, and they are forced to solve them quickly and efficiently. That’s where decision science comes in. This market needs proven methodologies and frameworks to follow in order to materially affect business outcomes.” – Tom Pohlmann: Chief Marketing Officer at AHEAD.

A large part of of identifying challenges, risks and opportunities when analysing Big Data comes from implementing the right tools and frameworks to generate these insights. However, human intuition is still an important quality.

“We know executives pay attention to what data and analytic tells them, that’s the science part of the equation. But we also know they rely heavily on the art of intuition.” – Dan DiFilippo – Consulting Clients and Markets Leader For China and Hong Kong at PwC.

Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. In the era of of big data however, being unable to explain your logic when you come to a decision is a risk. In a survey conducted by PwC, 59% of decision makers said the analysis they require relies primarily on human judgment rather than machine algorithms.

“Seizing the opportunity will require leaders who can weigh the power and influence of both artificial and human intelligence, finding a balanced path that makes the most of each unique capability.” – Hugo Moreno: Contributor at Forbes.

 

#5 – BE VERSATILE

“In an age of Big Data, having tech skills is important, but the pendulum might be starting to swing the other way. More companies are requiring a mix of technology and people skills.” – Stephanie Vozza: Writer at Fast Company

The ability to take on multiple roles can make you more valuable to a team, not to mention give you a competitive advantage.

“Competition for analytical talent is extreme. And preserving and maintaining a base of talent within an organisation is difficult, particularly if you view this as a core competency.” – Ruben Sigala: Chief Analytics Officer at Caesars Entertainment.

In the field of data analytics, the combination of both hard skills (technical) and soft skills
(communication) is crucial to your success.

“Many who are working in the field today have more than one role in their job. They may act as researchers, who mine company data for information. They may also be involved with business management. Around 40% work in this capacity. Others work in creative and development roles.” – Ronald van Loon: Director of Advertisement.

“The right talent will go find the right technologies; the right talent will go solve the problems out there.” – Victor Nilson: Senior Vice President of Big Data at AT&T.

 

For more resources, please see below:

 

Data Analytics

Intuition Is The Antidote To Big Data

Pros and Cons Of Predictive Analysis

How Companies Are Using Data Analytics

Making Advanced Analytics Work For You

How Companies Are Using Big Data And Analytics

The Search For Data Analysts To Make Sense Of Big Data

Predictive Analytics, Big Data and How To Make Them Work For You

How Most Successful Companies Effectively Leverage Data & Analytics For Problem Solving

 

Data Tools

7 Top Tools For Taming Big Data

All The Best Big Data Tools and How To Use Them

Use Big Data To Get (And Stay) Ahead Of The Competition

Top 10 Tools For Working With Big Data For Successful Analytics Developers

 

Data Trends

10 Big Data Trends To Get Ahead of Now

Data Analytics Trends You Must Incorporate

 

Data Skills

The Hard And Soft Skills Of A Data Scientist

How To Boost Your Career In Big Data Analytics