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The business value of data analytics

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For many organisations, it takes time to digest what data analytics is or whether it is worth investigating. As a BI consultant, this was interesting to watch as we understand that using technology to increase competitive advantage is nothing new – however the adoption of this technology is.  So, while perceptions around data analytics adoption is still growing, I believe that there is still much we can expect to see from this technology in the future.

When organisations started bringing us in to tap into their data to extract value and then started basing their decisions on the quality of analytics provided, everyone wanted to have a data analytics team with only one plea; please unlock the value in my data. Considering this, what is the business value that can be unlocked through data analytics? In this post, I wanted to delve into my sentiments around a recent article I read – The value of business analytics – as it is a good platform for sharing and exploring the business value of data analytics.

The data analytics team must be your evangelists

When your Chief Data Officer (CDO) or the organisation decides to bring a team of data experts on board, ensure that they are data evangelists. This team must have the right skills in place – which also means understanding their audience and being able to tailor their message to suit that audience. While the data analytics team must ensure that messages are relevant and fit to the overall data strategy or plan – they cannot do so if they do not recognise that people view things differently and that an effective communication strategy will be required to accommodate different personalities and viewpoints across the business.

Data analytics should generate revenue

When you have a data analytics team that is examining your data, with extensive knowledge under their belts, this team should automatically understand the organisation’s objectives and goals. It is only with this understanding that value and revenue can be generated from the data being analysed – as this data can aid the business in making better decisions (based on accuracy and business targets) – which can lead to better business success.

 Data analytics should get you the competitive edge needed

The best news that the Chief Data Officer wants to hear is, ‘we have delivered on our promise’ – which, in this case would be the real financial value if this was the initial goal. Therefore, what then becomes important is the knowledge of how a ‘sustainable competitive advantage will be created for the next two years’ through data analytics. And this would mean, the team has managed to map tactical activities into strategical outcomes – more opportunities and more success for the organisation. For example, the organisation will be able to respond to market conditions faster than their competitors or achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction through one-to-one engagement – all insight data would have provided.

So, to recap – to my mind, the business value of data analytics is to ensure the team is not only able to translate and communicate data results correctly to different audiences, but through their projects, aids the organisation in generating revenue and gaining the competitive advantage. As a result, if for any reason upon your implementation of your data being examined, none of these points are realised, go back to the drawing board and see if you may have missed something.

While the business value of data analytics varies according to an organisation’s goals and objectives, it will also vary given how committed the change agents are from both sides – so it is all about working together to understand and see the value.

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