Raw Data + Analytics can be a game changer

A telecom start-up with a goal of gaining 100 million customers. A multinational beverage corporation planning a new product launch. A leading online platform looking to maintain and increase its market dominance. Each of these organizations confronted a business challenge by leveraging massive amounts of data as operational and marketing game-changers. They created value by applying analytics to understand the past, predict the future, and align their findings with business strategy. In each case, the resulting improvement to decision-making led to better processes and increased profitability.

  • The telecom start-up committed to creating a data-driven organization that leveraged cutting-edge technology. It developed an interactive business intelligence platform to perform diagnostic and predictive analytics on unstructured and structured data, and deliver an enriched customer experience. The result is a platform that is visionary, foolproof, and future-oriented.
  • The multinational beverage corpora­tion embraced data collection that would scale to as much as a petabyte. It defined a cloud-based, pay-per-use architecture featuring real-time data acquisition, processing, and reporting—while maintaining control over capital and operating expenditures.
  • The online platform acquired new-age business intelligence tools able to feed 50 petabytes of data into a next-generation BI platform. These new tool sets not only maintain operating efficiency, but also yield better insights into user behavior and have emerged as drivers of customer satis­faction.

Such enterprises are already enjoying a market advantage. In this evolving arena, it’s never too late to begin.

Get with the program: Analytics as cultural shift

In an era where just about every activity, transaction, and communication leaves behind a digital footprint, data is not hard to come by. Data storage vendor EMC predicts that by 2020, the data we produce annually will reach 44 trillion gigabytes. Its magnitude is no longer big, but colossal.

Harnessing this unrelenting deluge of information—and changing it from noise into actionable insights—can be a daunting proposition. Analytics can provide information both predictive and prescriptive, answering such questions as what should be done and why. It can uncover optimal courses of action, but only if organizations make investments in complex modeling, the latest tools and technolo­gies, and the talents of skilled personnel.

Numerous challenges arise as organizations transition towards becoming analytics-driven. Organizations need to ensure they have an integrated strategy towards that goal, and understand the distinct parameters that separate leaders from followers. These include:

  1. DataIntent. Becoming an analytics-driven organi­zation requires a cultural and strategic shift in the C-suite. Industry leaders are realigning their businesses around data and technology.
  2. Data. Organizations need to define a com­prehensive policy covering critical data sources, the means of capture, storage, and management architecture. They must understand that this is an ongoing process that must be continuously reviewed and enhanced.
  3. Tools. Enterprises should select the proper fit-for-purpose tools and technologies to meet their business needs. This requires rigorous evaluations.
  4. People. Creating an analytics culture requires a team of business analysts, data scientists, and technical specialists who convert data into value by using matrices, algorithms, models, optimization, and functions.

To outperform competitors, organizations need to embrace a data ana­lytics-driven culture—one that requires a detailed strategy, focused management, and a willingness to adapt and change. Succeeding in such an effort promises a categorical improvement, and can provide competitive advantage.

I delve deeper into why embarking on the data journey is essential and how companies can get started, in my article “Driving Value Through Data Analytics: The Path from Raw Data to Informational Wisdom” in the March 2016 issue of Cognizant 20-20 Insights.

How is this explosion impacting your business and industry? Let me know.

Nitin Srivastava

Nitin Srivastava

Nitin Srivastava is Principal Architect within Cognizant’s Enterprise Information Management Practice. He has over 15 years of experience in technology and architecture... Read more

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