Learning the finer points of high-powered data analysis

By 2016, the secret is out – just about every business under the sun has great potential with big data. By collecting large volumes of information about themselves, their operations, their customers and the competition, companies stand to make significant gains by fine-tuning the way they conduct their business.

This data-driven transformation is easier said than done, however. No company will be able to turn over a new leaf without first putting in significant work to prepare for analytics. This means changing the company culture so everyone is on board, planning carefully and assigning everyone a role that best utilises their talents.

Analytics success is predicated on a whole lot more than simply brute-force collection of lots of data. Arriving at a perfectly optimised strategy requires time and effort.

The perfect strategy for adopting BI

If your company is getting ready to dive into analytics, you've got to do a lot more than just adopt business intelligence solutions and hope the rest of the process takes care of itself. According to the Industry Skills Councils, being able to analyse data means being prepared for a complex, multi-step process:

  1. Deciding on your data. What sort of information will you use to tackle the business challenges in front of you? Choosing the right sources is key.
  2. Finding methods of analysis. What BI solutions will you use? How will you comb through your data points to distill actionable lessons?
  3. Uncovering trends. The hope is that, after extensive analysis, your data points to definite trends that reveal strengths or weaknesses in your business.
  4. Taking action. The final step is to be proactive about acting upon the trends you find, modifying your business' strategies for the better.

Before you begin with BI solutions, it's best to go through this checklist and ensure you're ready to tackle the entire process. If you're not, why rush into action too hastily?

Distilling the data that really matters

One of the toughest preliminary challenges you'll face is determining the scope of the data analysis projects you'll tackle. After all, when you're adopting enterprise solutions for BI, it's easy to get carried away with the potential and try to analyse too much, too fast.

Then again, you want to include as much information as possible in your analysis, at least in the very beginning. As IT Business Edge correctly pointed out, even savvy data scientists can't necessarily be trusted to predetermine which data points matter and which don't. It's better to paint with a broad brush at first, taking every data point possible into account and being sure not to miss anything.

Big data is really big. We can help narrow it down a bit.Big data is really big. We can help narrow it down a bit.

Eventually, you'll be able to filter out the noise and focus on the information that really matters. Because the advent of big data in business has dramatically increased the volume and speed of data collection, it's good to develop filters over time as you become more familiar with the analytical process. Only time and experience can teach you to do this accurately, though.

Solution consulting can lead you to success

It can be difficult to distill the staggering volume of data that's out there into just the stuff you need. Even some very intelligent business leaders have trouble figuring this process out. If you fall into that category, there's no need to worry. All you need is some solution consulting to help with identifying the challenges in front of you and addressing them.

At AtoBI, we can deliver that help. We're big believers in listening carefully to our customers and learning to understand them intimately. Once we do so, we'll be able to design and implement unique analytical solutions that will lead your business forward.