Implementing Business Analytics in Medium Sized Organisations
Businesses today face the challenge of increasing revenues and reducing costs and the associated business risks amidst the increasingly volatile environment. Suppliers, consumers, shareholders, regulators, and other stakeholders all want responsiveness from businesses.
According to several polls, such as one performed by IBM, major organisations are increasingly utilising business analytics and viewing it as a method of gaining a competitive edge. Furthermore, the same poll found that organisations who have completely implemented business analytics beat their competitors that have not implemented BA or are in the process of doing so.
Until recently, it was thought that only large corporations could profit from a business analytics implementation. In a survey of mid-sized company C-level executives, IBM discovered that while these executives were well aware of the benefits that implementing business analytics could bring to their companies, a large portion of the business decision-makers in these companies did not have a correct understanding of the benefits.
Higher data visibility, greater analytical capabilities, measuring and monitoring financial and operational business performance, anticipating outcomes, and so on are some of the most apparent advantages that accrue to an organisation.
Despite knowing about BA and its associated advantages, many mid-sized businesses are unwilling to use it due to perceived hurdles. Business analytics solutions, according to mid-sized businesses, are too expensive to deploy. They also feel that business analytics is challenging to execute in situations when new technologies must be incorporated into older or current systems.
Integrating structured and unstructured data in business strategy to reach the desired goals is another problem in the adoption of business analytics. Finally, integrating the existing CRM infrastructure with business data and analysis is complex.
In reality, business analytics solutions are much more accessible and affordable than perceived by mid-sized organisations. Now, business analytics solutions providers have recognised the needs of mid-and small-sized organisations and they offer solutions for different businesses to provide business analytics capabilities to all the interested parties at the prices they can afford.
Aberdeen Group has identified certain trends that put up a strong case for use of business analytics solutions by mid-sized organisations.
They include the following:
- Big data: A lot of data is generated by internal and external sources in an organisation. The volume, nature and the complexity of data leads to a collection of data known as Big Data which is an important factor in business decision making.
- Meaningful analysis: In mid-sized organisations, the number and role of executives who need direct access to data for decision making or to coordinate with other executives/ departments is increasing. Therefore, it becomes inevitable to use business analytics.
- Critical decisions and little time: Executives of these midsized organisations are also responsible for making important or critical business decisions.
As a part of its study, Aberdeen Group found that many mid-sized organisations are increasingly resorting to business analytics along with formal data management practices to increase their market relevance and market value.
In the IBM’s survey, it was found that mid-sized organisations were well aware of the associated benefits and about 64% of the respondents who were surveyed accepted that there was a need for greater visibility of their data and the associated analysis capabilities. 31% of the respondents recognised that they required business analytics capabilities but had plans to implement it somewhere in future.
Lastly, 5% of the respondents said that they were satisfied with their current approach and do not need any business analytics capabilities. The survey also revealed that a large percentage of mid-sized organisations viewed business analytics as a technology investment.
Business analytics is highly recommended for mid-sized organisations because the majority of an organization’s functional data is saved in departmental spreadsheets, and business analytics may be used to quickly gather data from a variety of diverse sources and integrate it in a meaningful way.
This information may then be analysed and reported on using a business analytics system. Dashboards, scorecards, planning, budgeting, and forecasting are all included in most business analytics products.
Business analytics solutions providers are now providing affordable solutions targeted at mid-size organisations. These solutions come with various capabilities and features such as the following:
- A pre-configured solution to ensure ease of installation and integration with existing applications.
- Common Web portal
- Plug and play compatibility
- Centralised Web console
- Minimum pressure on the IT staff
- No additional investment in IT resources
- Provides consistent and reliable information