In an article last week I investigated how speed can give businesses a competitive advantage in analytics.
But what do organisations have to do to get ahead of their rivals?
In this article I’ll look at some of the important habits of speed-driven organisations that were identified in a white paper published recently by IBM.
Four different types of companies were identified based on their analytics capabilities, ranging from front runners through to spectators.
Front runners represent the top 10% of respondents and are defined as data-driven organizations that use analytics to drive business processes within most business functions.
And without further ado, here’s a look at five of the habits of speed-driven organisations…
1. Blend traditional and new components
Front runners source and manage data more quickly by integrating traditional and big data infrastructure components.
This is obviously easier said than done, but it’s something that all businesses should aspire towards.
In the traditional approach business users determine what questions to ask and their IT departments structure the data to answers those questions.
This is well suited to many common business processes and recurring reports and remains a key part of a speed-driven data infrastructure.
However in order to maximise the potential of big data and advanced analytics, businesses have to adopt different practices.
IT has to create a platform that consolidates all sources of information and enables creative discovery, so business users can explore the data for ideas.
To achieve this advanced level, nearly all front runners use an integrated data warehouse (92%) and more than three quarters (79%) have invested in data acquisition capabilities to support sourcing the wide assortment of data they collect.
2. Use real-time data processing and analysis
Front runners are significantly more likely than other clusters to be using real-time data processing and analysis.
This enables them to act in the moment and keep pace with customer demands.
In fact the data shows that front runners are five times more likely to have real-time analytical processing capabilities and twice as likely to use real-time events analysis.
3. Analyse diverse datasets
Front Runners differentiate themselves from the competition due to the diversity of the datasets they analyse, which often includes external sources.
The breadth and robustness of the datasets enables them to create business-driven insights that have a real impact on organizational performance.
The report identified nine out of 18 datasets that front runners are twice as likely to analyse.
Types of data analysed
4. Integrate digital and process transformations
The speed with which front runners drive change enables them to realize the transformative power of analytics.
Analytics transformations can be divided into two focal areas:
- Digital interaction: Reimagining everything about the way people connect, transact and engage with companies, and how they create mutual value.
- Process reinvention: Transforming the organization for agility, flexibility and precision to enable new growth.
What differentiates front runners here is that they are focused on creating an end-to-end transformation that includes both digital interactions and process reinventions, while other businesses are more likely to undertake one or the other.
Key objectives for analytics
5. Embed analytics within business processes
A central component of both a digital and process transformation is integrating analytics into the targeted business processes.
Front runners are more likely to recognise the speed advantage of using analytics to automate, drive and inform key business processes within their organizations.
This includes back-office business processes like finance as well as utilising algorithms and predictive models in call centres or online interactions.
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