Business Analytics | Don’t leave home without it!


The world of business analytics is still an area that is not known or fully exploited by a large number of organisations. This article describes some of its applications and how used in the right way it can gain a company a distinct competitive advantage. 


Software


Business analytics software can come in many forms. It can be simple say in the form of an access database collating and executing reports, to more complex applications used for modelling, analysing and tracking information in order to assist in a decision making process. The software can help a business to know where its assets are e.g. inventory, how they are being utilised and indeed all their business performance through a single tool.


In 2005, there was a growing demand for business analytics software purely because executives were realising that business decisions could be best supported by clear concise and extremely useful (and well formatted) data output. I have personally used the Vanguard “Graphical Reporting System” software with its excellent “drag and drop” utility to create decision making reports from various data sources (I believe they were sold a number of years ago to whom I am not sure).


Data


If the software application can capture and upload the appropriate data files, then the application of that data can be extensive. Software companies are developing tools with the ability to interface and extract data from many base systems such as SAP, Oracle, PRISM and many more.


The key advantage to many analytics systems is that often it the user creating and manipulating the data to their own “design” without the aid of an expensive programmer. This can make the whole world of business analytics much more flexible. Business analytics can provide departments and divisional heads plus senior executives “dashboards” with either output stored in a data warehouse (i.e. relevant up to the close of business the previous day) or they are operating in a real time business environment.
 

Market


Marketing and marketers can and should benefit from the offerings that business analytic products can offer, but there remains a lot of work to be done by systems departments to even review such systems, let alone implement them in a business environment.
 

The power of business to customer marketing techniques using variable data applications for instance can be further enhanced by drill down analysis of a market place, customers, what they buy, what they pay etc.


Intelligence


It is not unknown in the commercial world for many business analytic projects to fail either due to incorrect implementation, failure to identify the capabilities of the system at the buying / vendor review stage or at user level (the more complex, the more likelihood that no one will use it).


Conclusion


Look at your business from a different angle by using sales friendly business analytic applications and perform detailed analysis of the market place. Organisations in today’s global economy need to differentiate and acquire a competitive advantage. The world of business analytics has that capability!

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