The business intelligence (BI) market in Australia is growing, as an increasing number of organisations recognise the value of deriving insights from their company data.
Gartner figures predict that the BI software segment will be worth US$443.5 million (AU$579.4) in the country by next year. The data showed a 5.4 per cent increase in revenues for the sector between 2013 and 2014, with Australia the largest market for BI solutions across the Asia-Pacific region.
But what separates the best from the rest when it comes to using these platforms effectively? Here are three of the key factors that could bring your BI capabilities to the next level.
27 per cent of high-performers forged partnerships with data analytics specialists
1. The right tools
Businesses that want to leverage their data must have access to sophisticated and well-integrated software. According to a 2015 EY report, 47 per cent of leading analytics enterprises have established tools that are updated regularly.
Meanwhile, only 14 per cent of other companies could say the same. EY highlighted the importance of focusing technology efforts on enabling smart decision-making, which the firm said is the ultimate aim of analytics.
2. The right people
The EY study also recognised the value of harnessing data analytics skills within the workforce. People with BI and analytics experience were among the most highly sought-after candidates in a recent Hays Australia Quarterly Report.
Meanwhile, more generally, highly skilled ICT applicants are in short supply across Australia. Australian Computer Society and Deloitte data revealed the number of graduates with these qualifications is on the decline, despite ongoing increases in demand.
3. The right training
Even with the best tools and people in place, businesses can still struggle to get the most out of BI solutions without comprehensive training. EY noted that the top 10 per cent of data analytics leaders were more likely to invest in on-site seminars, workshops and off-site education programs.
Mentoring from analytics professionals was evident among 39 per cent of the best-performing companies, compared with just 25 per cent of other organisations. Similarly, 27 per cent of high-performers forged partnerships with data analytics specialists, while only 19 per cent of their competitors did likewise.
Working towards better BI
Enterprises that wish to optimise their approach to BI must address any shortcomings they may have in their tools, people and training processes.
This is why consulting with experts provides significant value, as they can conduct an objective analysis of businesses’ current set-ups and offer advice on how to make crucial changes to improve performance.
Australia has one of the most developed health care systems in the world. The latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show $14.2 billion was spent on the industry in 2011-12. The rate of growth in expenditure is currently higher than both population growth and expansion in the broader economy.
Given the vast amounts of data generated in the sector, it’s hardly surprising that health care organisations are keen to find ways of harnessing this information. The sheer volume and variety of data produced across medical care providers, consumers and ancillary service companies is staggering. This makes structuring, analysing and drawing insight from the information a significant challenge.
“Since we implemented QlikView, creating reports only takes a matter of minutes.”
Little wonder, then, that a rising number of organisations are looking at ways to optimise their data analytics tools and processes. Even if health care agencies are not working with big data in real terms, the amount of information created across ERP and other systems can be substantial.
There are a number of examples of data analytics projects proposed or underway in the country. These range from BI projects that help businesses handle their data more effectively to large-scale big data initiatives that could lead to revolutionary changes in the way health care is delivered.
Let’s examine some of the different data analytics approaches health care organisations are currently taking.
BI solutions in health care
Mind Australia deployed the QlikView BI platform last year to better support the 18,000 people with mental health problems that the charity helps.
The software enabled Mind Australia to optimise reporting processes and enhance visibility across the organisation, according to an IDG Health article. The amount of data the charity held on clients, employees, financial matters and KPIs was considerable, which required a solution that could integrate multiple data streams into one.
“Since we implemented QlikView, creating reports only takes a matter of minutes,” said Peter Laws, the company’s general manager of information systems.
“We are able to automatically import data from any source across the entire organisation to create insightful reports; saving us time and enabling our staff to reallocate their time to more value added tasks.”
The bigger picture
On a larger scale, the federal government recently awarded the University of Queensland (UQ) a $7 million grant for a five-year big data research project. The money will go towards powerful infrastructure that will enable scientists to examine huge genomic datasets collected across hundreds of thousands of patients.
The focus of the research will be psychiatric and neurological conditions, such as dementia, autism, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. However, the analytical methods and tools the university plans to develop could be translated across other major health problems, including obesity and cancer.
Peter Hoj, UQ vice-chancellor and president professor, said big data has been instrumental in building social media and making dramatic changes in mineral exploration and weather forecasting.
“Transformation of the same magnitude is now coming to health care, as we move into the era of so-called personalised and precision medicine based on an individual’s genes,” he explained.
Addressing data analytics needs
Clearly, health care organisations are beginning to use their data in new and exciting ways. A 2014 study from Edith Cowan University highlighted a range of areas where leveraging big data could drive key changes in the industry.
Big data analytics can lead to better clinical decision support, more accurate insights into patient behaviours, cost-cutting measures and the effective management and handling of electronic health records.
Agencies must familiarise themselves with technologies that can support their desire for greater insights.
Nevertheless, organisations require sophisticated infrastructure in order to effectively manage the huge volumes of structured and unstructured data they produce. The MapR Converged Data Platform, a Hadoop product, is one example of a technology that is designed to cope with sizable datasets.
But how can businesses assess what tools they need to derive insights from their data? Health care agencies may not require big data platforms to effectively manage their information; smaller-scale solutions are likely to prove sufficient for many organisations hoping to streamline their operations and achieve core KPI targets.
Enlisting the services of experienced data analytics consultants allows health care professionals to identify and understand their BI needs, as well as design, develop and implement the appropriate solutions. Consultants can also offer dedicated training services to ensure organisations maximise the benefits of the platforms they use to leverage insights.
Ultimately, as data becomes increasingly central to health care strategies, agencies must familiarise themselves with technologies that can support their desire for greater insights. Failing to do so is likely to lead to a loss of competitiveness, content chaos and faltering innovation.
In the world of business intelligence (BI) and big data, the ultimate challenge is staying ahead of the competition. There is no doubt that more and more enterprises are taking advantage of this technology to gather better insights for clients, customers and relevant stakeholders.
However, data on its own isn’t always helpful. Therefore, business leaders need to apply various new measures of analysis in order to see patterns, trends and possible solutions. In recent times, the idea of geospatial analytics has come into prominence, allowing enterprises to add another layer to their BI capabilities.
Geospatial analytics – a snapshot
Geospatial analytics is the concept of using time and location information within traditional data processes. This allows business leaders to analyse what is happening across times and locations simultaneously, allowing for smarter decisions and more accurate conclusions.
Essentially, by including time and location insight, trends emerge in a geographic or linear context, meaning forecasts can be made at a particular site and time in the future.
In the healthcare sector, for example, doctors and other medical professionals could track how deadly diseases and viruses are moving across a town, city, country or even the globe. As a result, local authorities and healthcare providers have access to real-time information, enabling them to determine how they can prepare for epidemics and global events before they begin.
While this type of information should be a given in today’s technological world, geospatial analytics is still a growing trend and will come into more prominence in the years to come. This was recently highlighted by statistics from MarketsandMarkets.
In its Geospatial Analytics Market by Type report, the industry is predicted to grow to US$72.21 Billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 21.4 per cent. Technology is certainly improving in this space, and industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and real estate are all set to enjoy the benefits.
Why is geospatial analytics growing so quickly?
Tracking and identifying geospatial information is much easier today thanks to innovations such as smartphones, social media and GPS devices.
Geospatial analytics’ growth is supported by the rise of geographic information system (GIS) technology. According to MarketsandMarkets, tracking and identifying geospatial information is much easier today thanks to innovations such as smartphones, social media and GPS devices.
As well as being able to provide instant insight, this data is accurate, enabling businesses within different sectors to develop tailored responses based on spatial conditions or other location-based data. As GIS technology continues to expand and be adopted by consumers, the scope of geospatial analytics will only advance in the future.
What are the benefits of geospatial analytics?
While the advantages of this business intelligence will differ depending on the industry, there are several universal benefits to including time and location information to existing data pools. Described by Deloitte, these include:
Proactive, not reactive
Organisations in industries where time is of the essence need to be proactive when addressing situations, rather than reactive. As such, through geospatial analytics, decisions can be made based on what is happening in certain areas before the trend spreads.
Projects and activities in one location can often be used to determine the relative success of the same activity in another location. With the use of geospatial analytics, business leaders have access to information around why an event or action didn’t work in a certain geographic location, supporting future efforts in an industry.
Learning more about geospatial analytics
As a concept, geospatial analytics is of real value for many sectors around the world. Of course, it will be important for enterprises investing in BI to have the right knowledge and solutions on their side. If this sounds like something that your business is interested in, contact our team today.
With technology playing an ever-growing role in industries around the world, it is always good to identify where these areas of growth are located. This not only provides an overview for businesses wanting to keep up with the competition, but also forecasts future technological trends.
This was a particular focus of a recent report from International Data Corporation, (IDC) titled Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Vertical and Company Size. According to the findings, IT spending in the Asia/Pacific region is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3 per cent over the 2015-2019 forecast period.
“Business leaders will turn to IT solutions, including data analytics and infrastructure optimisation.”
IDC highlighted healthcare as one of the key drivers behind this IT spending growth. According to the statistics, investment in this sector will grow at a CAGR of 5.5 per cent between 2015 and 2019 – underpinned by software spending increases of 6.7 per cent over the same period.
Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC Stephen Minton maintained there are many factors at work here.
“With the global economy entering a new and uncertain phase, IT spending will be heavily influenced by economic cycles and wild cards over the next five years,” he said.
“In many industries, business leaders will turn to IT solutions, including data analytics and infrastructure optimisation, to help them navigate the stormy economic waters.”
Big data in the healthcare sector?
In similar fashion to many industries, the healthcare sector can benefit from adopting various forms of technology. One prime example is big data. While mainly used in business marketing and sales in the past, collecting insightful data and making accurate conclusions is of great benefit in the medical environment.
This was cited in a recent media release from Research and Markets. Before 2022, the total worth of big data analytics in healthcare will surpass $34.27 billion. With this in mind, how can big data support medical business objectives?
By far, the most important goal for healthcare providers is connecting patients, medicines and diagnoses. Research and Markets explained that big data can help bridge these gaps as well as improve clinical trial accuracy and predict global epidemics.
Predicting type 2 diabetes
As one of the most common conditions around the world, business intelligence technology is making great progress in identifying what people in the community are at risk.
In an article published by New York University, NYU Langone Medical Center and Independence Blue Cross, big data models were used to predict type 2 diabetes risk factors. Using information such as pharmacy records, laboratory results, healthcare information and other data for more than 4 million people, it was found to be at least 50 per cent more effective at predicting the condition.
“The recent availability of the electronic health record and claims datasets offers an unprecedented opportunity to apply predictive analytics to improve the practice of medicine and to infer potentially novel risk factors,” the report noted.
Of course, if professionals in the healthcare industry can identify risk factors and trends sooner, there is a significant chance of patients receiving treatment quicker. Big data is changing the way the medical industry operates and as time goes on, datasets and models will only improve.
This is certainly something we at A to BI are supporting. As a provider of industry-leading business intelligence technology, we can help to build your data capabilities and service your customers and clients in a more productive manner.
In a general sense, it’s well understood that analysing data can help healthcare providers make better decisions, regarding everything from allocating man-hours at health facilities to optimising insurance spending. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which data to use.
A lot of the literature out there on healthcare BI is highly dense and packed with technical jargon.
A lot of the literature out there on this topic is highly dense and packed with technical jargon. That sort of reading isn’t for everyone. For some people in the healthcare community – even very bright people with many good ideas – jargon might as well be a second language. They want clear guidance for healthcare business intelligence, but they want it in plain English.
What are the best sources of healthcare analytics data, and how can you make sense of them? This is all you really want to know – so let’s walk through it, nice and easy.
Digging into people’s health records
In the healthcare world, there’s always a paper trail, and that means there’s never a shortage of healthcare analytics data sources for you to choose from. With every patient who goes through the system, there’s a variety of records to cull from, including medical documentation, financial transactions and more. Why not put it to good use?
This is one of the things that business intelligence solutions do best in the modern BI era – search through records, find relevant information and help you discover trends that will influence your future behaviours. Nowadays, this is happening in real time with staggering accuracy.
Finding insights via social media
A lot of healthcare records historically have been kept under wraps, but in the social media era, that’s no longer the case. Millions of people are voluntarily sharing information about themselves on Facebook and Twitter that might have some bearing on their health situation.
Information Week noted that this has played a significant role in detecting fraud. Companies can use enterprise solutions to listen to what people are saying online, check for inconsistencies in their records and sniff out problem cases. This is just one example of widely available data making a big difference.
Getting structure out of unstructured knowledge
Still struggling to find the best possible data for healthcare analytics? It’s possible that the information you’re looking for isn’t available in conventional places like health records and social media feeds.
An Oracle whitepaper recently noted that many health organisations have had success analysing unstructured data, such as qualitative insights collected from patient feedback. Every time a patient says something, record it. Accumulate enough knowledge, and a high-powered solution just might be able to turn it into actionable healthcare data.
Companies have been increasing their spending on business intelligence (BI) for many years now. You don’t have to look hard to find evidence of this movement – for example, Gartner recently announced that the total value of the BI and analytics market will be $16.9 billion by the end of 2016. That’s a staggering number, and it’s the product of exponential growth year after year.
Some business leaders don’t fully understand the benefits of allocating space in their budgets to BI.
Having said that, there are some business leaders who are on the fringe of this movement, hearing the buzz but not necessarily joining in. In many cases, this is because they don’t fully understand the benefits of allocating space in their budgets to BI. They’ve heard the buzz, but they don’t necessarily understand the specifics.
If you already have some sort of mechanism in place for analysing data, such as folders full of Excel spreadsheets, what will convince you to do more? What are the particular reasons to invest in business intelligence that you’re not thinking of? This piece will explore them.
Getting rid of the guessing game
Are you curious about why you should invest in business intelligence? Here’s one clear reason – it helps eliminate the “guessing games” that happen all too often in business.
Say, for example, you’re trying to project how your sales will look in 2017, so you can use that information to create a budget. If you guess and you’re wrong, it can have a serious negative impact on financial planning. But with business intelligence solutions, it’s easy to look at historical data and make projections. From there, you can move forward with confidence.
Finding actionable information right away
The goal in BI is to find information you can act on quickly. If your sales clerks are trying to make deals, you want them to have accurate, up-to-date information at their fingertips that they can use instantly to inform their tactical decisions.
Enterprise solutions for BI have made that easy, which means there’s no longer any lag time with data analysis. Information can be collected in near time, and your company can take action. It’s that simple.
Gaining a key competitive edge
Another one of the key factors behind business intelligence investment is the need for companies to have a leg up on their competitors. If a rival business is trying a new strategy in an effort to one-up you, it’s important to find out quickly and respond.
Visual Analytic BI solutions make this easy. Enterprises in 2017 can be agile and responsive in the competitive marketplaces they operate in.
Getting started with business intelligence is a challenge for any company, but it's especially the case when you're dealing with a large enterprise and a lot of moving pieces. What's the best way to get a BI strategy off the ground at the enterprise level?
You'll need to allocate a lot of resources to getting the enterprise BI process right.
There's little doubt that this is more challenging than with a small or midsize business. You'll need to allocate a lot of resources to getting the process right, not to mention get a lot of people on board with your company's IT plans.
There's a lot of buzz in the business world today about the value of BI, but there's surprisingly little in the way of tangible advice – how can you get started? What does the optimal enterprise-level BI strategy look like?
Get strong support from the top down
Worried about the challenge of implementing enterprise solutions for BI? Your concerns are not unfounded, but you can overcome the challenge if you go in with a solid game plan. According to Forrester Research, the most important prerequisite is strong executive commitment. If the people at the top of the corporate ladder put their support behind business intelligence, that should trickle down.
Support comes in many forms. Obviously, you'll need money to pay employees and purchase software solutions, but it's not strictly financial. Your company's leadership can also help with communication, training and coordination of logistics to ensure BI success.
Empower your staff to achieve their goals
Among the consumer-facing businesses of today, there's been a movement toward being more "customer-centric." The idea is that people deserve to have more control over how they communicate with brands and personalise their own experiences.
Why shouldn't business intelligence solutions be the same way? This is another key to enterprise implementation. If you treat business users like customers and make a pleasant experience a priority, you're more likely to see people stick with your BI solutions and use them efficiently. An empowered staff is a more productive one.
Get consultants to smooth everything along
To ensure a smooth start with business intelligence at the enterprise level, one positive step you can take is to get help in the form of solution consulting. By getting tailored services aimed specifically at improving your business, you can start off on the track to success.
We have many of the brightest minds in business consulting in Melbourne among our ranks. Talk to us today, and we'll help identify your greatest challenges and develop the solutions you need to overcome them.
There are plenty of business leaders out there who have already begun to invest in business intelligence (BI). After all, increasing interest in BI has been one of the most notable trends across the business world in recent years.
What's changed so far in 2016 and the early part of 2017 in the world of business intelligence?
But for many leaders who have been at it for a few years now, there's a growing sense of worry that their strategies are becoming outdated. What trends do they need to be aware of if they want to remain current? What's changed recently in the world of business intelligence?
Let's go over the latest business intelligence trends in Australia and how your company can adjust to them on the fly.
3 of the most notable trends
Curious about the latest business intelligence trends to watch as we enter 2017? You're in luck, because the most recent Gartner research has turned up a few key developments you should watch in 2017:
The movement these days is towards "advanced analytics." In other words, companies are adopting enterprise solutions for gathering data faster and analysing it more efficiently than ever before. This helps them keep the budget lean and compete with business rivals at an entirely new level.
Smart data discovery is a key point of emphasis. The current tools aren't always the best for clustering and linking data, or for finding correlations in complex data sets. That process is evolving.
Another objective is to empower employees. Everything in technology today is moving toward self-service, and analytics is no different. The goal in 2017 will be to give every worker the tools they need to crunch the numbers themselves, quickly and independently.
How your business can capitalise today
Knowing what the major business intelligence trends to watch are is only half the battle; the other half is actually capitalising on them by taking fast action at your place of business. This is now an imperative for everyone. PCMagazine correctly noted that we're seeing a democratisation of business intelligence solutions – companies of all sizes, in all industries, are getting involved.
That means you need to climb aboard the bandwagon, lest you risk being left behind. Fortunately, at AtoBI, we offer tailored consultancy services that should make that process easier. Talk to us today about how you can act upon the latest BI trends and bring your organisation up to speed. No matter what type of work you do, we can help you do it better.
Implementing business intelligence (BI) solutions at the enterprise level is a great way to make strategic improvements to operations. However, this can only be successful if the entire organisation buys in and does their part to make it work.
How can corporate leaders offer training courses that will get their people up to speed quickly and efficiently?
This means everyone needs to be well trained. How can corporate leaders offer training courses that will get their people up to speed quickly and efficiently? The best training strategies are simple and straightforward, as few businesses have the time or money to waste on inefficient procedures. Let's go over how to train employees for business intelligence without breaking the bank or missing any key deadlines.
Increase the number of power users
So what are the most important employee business intelligence training tips that your leaders need to know? Perhaps first and foremost, the challenge is that not many people know how to master business intelligence solutions. Colleen Dolezsar, director of North America sales and business development at Hitachi Solutions, explained in a LinkedIn post that only about 5 per cent of employees have the knowledge to use analytics effectively.
For this reason, Dolezsar recommends working to popularise data science, translating it from tech jargon into simple, relatable English that anyone can understand. This should increase the number of "power users" of BI in your office, making it easier for everyone to contribute.
Have an effective system to track your progress
As you go about training your staff to use enterprise solutions for BI, you'll want to keep a close watchful eye on how they're improving. According to eLearning Industry, this is why it's worthwhile to have a learning management system in which people can log their progress and managers can check up on them.
If you have such a system in place, it's a simpler process for managers to observe the training process and assess the ROI for all the resources they're pouring into it. This allows business leaders to make future decisions about doing even more with BI.
Tailor training to your employees' specific needs
Employees are like snowflakes – no two are alike. This being the case, it's important to do more than simply train people using formulaic methods that "work for everyone." What your employees really need is personalised training that bolsters their strengths and helps them shore up their weaknesses.
At AtoBI, we offer a wide variety of training options, including courses held at a convenient off-site location or on-site lessons brought right to your door. Either way, we'll have what it takes to help you maximise your BI investment.
It's becoming more difficult every year to stay competitive in business. No matter what field you operate in, you surely have competitors all around you that are stepping up their game and finding analytical tools for making better decisions.
This is perhaps the biggest reason that analytics have become so popular among organisations in this decade – the competitive pressure is intense. If you don't invest more in data, your rivals will, and you will surely lose ground.
Having said that, diving into data is a lot more difficult than simply throwing money at the problem and expecting immediate results. The world of big data is complicated, and sometimes you need professional insights to help make sense of it all.
To stay competitive in business, you have to understand the competitive landscape.
Ignoring data in 2016 is a grave mistake, but what's even worse, perhaps, is investing a sizeable chunk of your budget in it without first figuring out what you're doing. Luckily, there are solution consultants that can help you understand data.
Data investments are rising steadily
To stay competitive in business, you have to understand the competitive landscape. If you know what others in your industry are up to, you can adjust accordingly and ensure that you aren't left behind. These days, more than ever, that means adjusting to the use of big data and sophisticated business intelligence solutions that can analyse it.
The latest edition of "Big and Fast Data: The Rise of Insight-Driven Business", a study from CapGemini and EMC, reveals that companies are investing in data at a rapid and accelerating pace. The researchers reveal that 56 per cent of enterprises plan to increase their investment in big data over the next three years. Moreover, 70 percent of IT decision-makers at those organisations view extracting value from data as a key ingredient of future success.
Given these statistics, it's no surprise that companies are spending more on analytics. It's a peer pressure effect – the more companies spend, the more their rivals must invest to stay competitive.
So to ensure you don't trip up trying to keep up, what do you need to know about data?
Examining all the analytical angles
There are many reasons why it's difficult to dive headfirst into the data analysis movement. One major difficulties is the fact that "big data" can have many definitions. For instance, there are several different types of information out there, so it's tough to decide which one to pursue aggressively in business.
Internal data consists of information that companies have collected on their own, either through their private workflows or customer relationships. It's often the most relevant to a given business, but there are limits to how much it can do.
Structured data often comes from third-party services. Nonetheless, it's relatively easy to acquire and begin analysing for business use.
Unstructured data is not within your immediate control, but it may relate to factors that affect the fortune of your business. It may require some effort to track down or produce this data and begin making sense of it.
Coming at the analytics movements from all the angles can be confusing and risky, especially if you aren't a statistics genius. But there's absolutely no shame in asking for a bit of technical support.
Consultants can make sense of it all
If you want to outdo your competitors in an increasingly data-reliant business world, it's important to outwork them when it comes to analysis. But that's not all – you also need top-notch business intelligence to do this effectively. If you don't have this in-house already, it makes sense to invest in solution consulting.
At AtoBI, you get tailored consultancy services that really get to the core of what you do. Our goal is to listen to your needs and deliver the perfect BI solution for you.
AtoBI are dedicated to providing the best Consultants, Training and Solutions, with particular expertise in delivering complex enterprise solutions.