What’s Trending in Business Analytics?

Mobile Man / Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When we look at the recent history of digital technology, some trends have stood the test of time, while others have burst forward before rapidly withering away. Remember mini-disks? Apple’s Newton Message Pad? Windows 8…

With any new trend, there will be ideas that go nowhere. That’s not to say we shouldn’t innovate, but that for every successful emerging technology, there’ll also be many which remain nothing more than a brief trend.

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, there’s been an explosion of connected devices collecting ever more information. However, while the big hype around Big Data hasn’t quite materialized into all that’s been promised (from better democracy to health to education), one area that does seem to be sticking is the use of Big Data in business analytics. In today’s post, we wanted to look at all the latest development in this real-world application of Big Data.

We’ve looked at recently published research to discover what the latest trends in business analytics are and explain how you can capitalize on them.

1. Business analytics is growing, fast. 

According to a 2015 study, between now and the year 2020, the number of data sources analyzed will jump 83%. At present your organization might be analyzing your website’s analytics, employee surveys, financial data. In five years’ time, you’ll be analyzing a lot more sources of information as you seek to learn about your customers, your business and your market. The best performing companies will actually double the number of data sources they currently analyze - from 25 at present to 50 in just five years.

2. There’s still too much manual work going on

While Business Intelligence should make reading and acting on data easier, in many companies, it’s still a very ‘hands-on’ process. Getting data in one view requires an Excel genius, huge amounts of data remains unanalyzed and too much time is spent updating datasheets. All this means that end-users who lack the technical skills and know-how just can’t access and work with data without the help of a full time business analyst.

3. Data is used for operational efficiencies and growth

Enterprises began focusing on operational efficiencies and facilitating growth when they began using analytics. These are still the most popular uses of data in the enterprise (37% of respondents chose each of these options as their first choice), but other areas of growth include:

  • Optimizing operational processes (35%)
  • Improving existing products, services and features (35%)
  • Identifying new revenue streams (33%)
  • Generating new ideas and innovating (33%)
  • Monitoring customer loyalty (33%)

4. Lots of data gets tracked, but there’s more potential

Companies reported tracking a wide range of data. The most important are as follows:

Graph via: Source

It’s clear that companies are collecting lots of information. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done to make more use of this data. While it’s fine to track data, ensuring it’s the ‘right’ data that will help boost sales and encourage growth is essential. Of course, it’s great to know how many emails your employees are sending, yet we can expect much more value to be learnt from transactional data or social media monitoring.

4. Popular across industries

It’s no surprise that industries which have the greatest number of employees who regularly use big data are in the high tech, financial services, automotive and media and communications fields. These industries are typically at the cutting edge of technology and insights. Nonetheless, we see large business analytics deployments in all sorts of companies including:

  • Consumer products and retail
  • Energy
  • Engineering and construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Public sector

There are diverse industries using modern business analytics, and this diversity will only keep growing over time.

5. Analytics goes mobile

The survey looked into the choices companies go through when deciding which data analytics tool they should use. The most valued qualities for mobile analytics apps include:

Graph via: Source

It’s clear from this graph that there’s a real emphasis on tools which make understanding and treating data easy for the uninitiated end-user. Companies are well aware that not all their employees are data scientists. However, with a little training and an intuitive interface, even the least experienced employee can begin using data to make better decisions.

Data is all around us

In today’s world, data is like the wind. Useless on its own, the wind can be channeled through a windmill to create useful energy. In the same way, data can be channeled through Business Intelligence tools to help you make the best decisions.

ReportPlus, our mobile-friendly business analytics tool offers the flexibility to be deployed across industries in a customizable, easy to use interface which gives even the least experienced users the powers of advanced analytics.

Try ReportPlus free today and begin turning dead data into dynamic decision making.