For many businesses, data analytics is currently used for reporting the success or failure of business performance rather than helping to driving vital decision making. 2017 is the year this changes according to top analysts at Gartner.
In 2012, only 23% of businesses had a data analytics strategy in place. Fast forward to 2017 and now Gartner research reports ‘45% of IT professionals indicated that new data and analytics projects were in the design and select phases.’
The biggest struggle businesses face is the lack of data driven decisions made throughout all departments within an organisation. Research often finds that some departments are more dependent on data than others. Therefore, Gartner ‘recommends data and analytics leaders work proactively to spread analytics throughout their organisation, to get the largest possible benefit from enabling data to drive business actions.’
So, the question is: what can we do to get on-board and embrace big data in our business?
Well, first you will need to find and appoint a data advocate. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and find a data expert; this special person could be sitting in your business right now! Your data advocate will push forward with all data projects and work across departments and with IT infrastructure teams to ensure the business has the capabilities to capture and report on what’s most important. The swift growth of cloud computing makes this all possible whether you are big or small.
Secondly, find a business intelligence tool that suits your business. This does not need to be an expensive outlay – there are plenty of tools that allow you to trial with them before committing. Once you have found a tool, use it to help visualise and turn your data into meaningful reports than anyone in any department can access and use to help drive decision making.
Sure, we make it sound easy and we know it isn’t, but investing in your data is key in helping drive growth regardless of which industry you sit in. The quicker you can get access to insights, the quicker you can make decisions that will positively impact your business.