OPINION9 November 2015

Bringing analytics to the people


More data doesn’t always mean better business decisions. But with the help of data science tools, employees at all levels can act on this added insight says Bobby Koritala


When it comes to data, the goals tend to be the same across all industries: to track, measure, analyse, compare and correlate the right data to derive the right business insights to act on. But the challenge is also the same: how, exactly, do you do that?

It’s about finding the right data science tools. Those tools can’t just be any data science systems. They need to connect users to information they need for analysis and embed the results into their business processes to achieve ROI results.

Data science is about more than just tracking internal metrics. With more internet-connected devices than ever, the opportunities to analyse this rich repository of data enables more insightful analysis that can be aggregated and acted upon.

If applied the right way, this information will transform businesses into new models of efficiency and service. Data science tools help paint a picture of current business operations, equipping more individuals across the modern enterprise to the right data at a moment’s notice. Data science tools help show patterns and depict trends that make the options clear, instead of wading through blurry, vague notions, leading to discovery and tangible outcomes.

Today, you can implement simple technology that will increase visibility of your most important metrics and deliver them to the business managers who are responsible for the profitability of each division or business unit. This information can be used across the board, which makes it easier to invest in opportunities and solve problems, supporting employees with information at their fingertips.

So how do you get the right data in to the right hands? With a simple, easy-to-navigate dashboard capable of displaying the results in a visual format that conveys performance metrics, correlates business data and relays next steps intuitively and responsively.

Then employees at any level can extract meaning to apply data to decisions, instead of relying upon assumptions. Also, by equipping more users further down the ladder with knowledge to provide rationale for their actions, decision-makers at the top realise substantial benefits: having more concrete information at their disposal advances strategic thinking across leadership.

Without the right data science tools, more data won’t equal better business, no matter how many qualified eyes you have on the data. The reality in the workplace today is that data is leaking into all corners of the enterprise, and that requires increased knowledge on how to crunch the numbers—something companies are struggling to keep up with. Employing enough internal data scientists and experts to find the value in the numbers simply does not work.

Instead, to unlock data science potential, companies should seek out an apt tool to turn numbers into easy-to-understand figures that can be translated into meaningful, immediate actions. By understanding the many different ways data can be used, a tool or resource for any data issue is possible. Working with experts who understand all of the potential that big data can unlock should make businesses confident that the right information will be pulled for them and organised in a way that makes sense to even the most amateur user.

What will set companies apart today is the move to make data tools a living, breathing component of their daily operations, ingrained in process and applied in all areas. That opportunity will be seized by the best-of-the-best by bringing in data science tools to bridge the gap from theory into practice.

Bobby Koritala is chief product officer at Infogix.