Friday, April 1, 2016
Making The Most Of Increased Data Capture And Analysis
The power of business intelligence and the need to harness it in business so as to make the most of the increasing amounts of data being gathered.
Information is power - and the size and scope of information is growing dramatically as Big Data ushers in an era of more and more data being generated and analysed. More data is being collected from more sources, and the challenge for business is in effectively managing and making valuable use of it.
What is business intelligence?
Put simply, business intelligence is a ‘catch all’ term to include the tools, infrastructure and applications to enable effective access to and the accurate analysis of data to improve performance and decision making.
A growth area
Business intelligence and analytics is forecast to be a £14 billion business worldwide by 2019. Many new companies creating software and analytics tools for this market are enjoying huge growth and investing heavily in their own infrastructure to meet the heavy demands from those keen to make the most of their burgeoning data gathering.
What contributes to growth?
Social networks are one key reason for the growth of Big Data; the users of big networks such as Facebook and Pinterest are yielding huge amounts of data covering usage, preferences and interests and it’s all grist to the mill for businesses and organisations with effective data analysis and business intelligence systems in place.
Internet of Things (IoT) is another key growth driver; with devices from home heating systems to cars ‘talking’ to each other, along with the smartphone technology results in huge amounts of data being generated, recorded and potentially analysed.
Data storage - the Cloud and virtual storage networks
The mammoth amounts of data being generated of course has to be stored, but physical servers can provide a barrier in term of size and cost. Having to build or acquire a large building to house more servers can take time and put a brake on growth.
The advent of third party storage such as the Cloud and being able to create extra capacity with existing hardware as in the case of virtual storage solutions helps business cope quickly and cost-effectively with the accelerated amounts of data being gathered.
The benefits to business
More data and analyse it effectively means businesses and organisations can more accurately respond to demands and plan accurately for the future. Identifying trends is a key activity and effective business intelligence helps significantly in this regard.
The ability to have relevant and fresh information at their fingertips is a massive asset, but it usually requires the help of experts to help them benefit from the advantages sound business intelligence can offer.
Harnessing the power of business intelligence
Experienced IT consultants can help a business by creating a bespoke infrastructure of databases and reporting systems tailored to their specific requirements. Analysis of customer retention, progress towards specific business goals and profitability can be conducted through effective data integration.
Two examples of business intelligence tools:
Data visualisation - enabling data analytics in the form of powerful visuals instead of just ‘dry’ written facts
Reporting - all manner of tools to create reports in various categories To make the most of the explosion in data gathering and analytics, talking to experts who can create an effective business intelligence platform is time and investment well spent.
Karen Harding is the marketing manager at Objective IT, one of the South East’s leading web and software development companies.