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How does business intelligence & data analytics drive business value?


The concept of big data has gained traction & ingrained itself in commercial consciousness. Learn the value of business intelligence & data analytics.



While its been a ‘buzzword’ for the past few years, the concept of big data has truly started to gain traction and embed itself in commercial consciousness over the past year or so. According to research published in 2017, 76% of UK companies were planning to use big data or data analytics within the next 12 months1.

A great deal of this discussion around big data in business has concentrated on its application in enhancing services for consumers and end-users.But, while this is immensely important, it’s not the end of the story. Data’s potential to revolutionise the way organisations function behind the scenes, at a strategic level, is just as significant. In many cases, it’s possible to make these improvements with a company’s current data, simply by managing it better.


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So, how can data be used to provide value in the way organisations work? These examples illustrate not just how data can inform business strategy, but informational structure and operational culture too.

Enhanced clarity using a data-enabled infrastructure

Many businesses depend on a complex combination of information management systems, often with one or more for each main part of the organisation i.e. accounting and finance, marketing, manufacturing etc.

As each system processes and produces different datasets,reports and results in isolation, it can be hard and time-consuming to cross-reference these to gain a singular vision of an organisation’s activity at any one time.

By having a holistic data infrastructure in place, supported by cloud-based technology, your organisation can link ‘data silos’ (static, separate stores of data) and provide immediate data sharing for a accurate reflection of organisational performance. Analysis of combined datasets can expose opportunities for work practice streamlining and cost-saving almost instantly, as well as evidence for refined strategic direction.

Facilitating change through a data-focused culture

After a company’s data can move freely through each of its systems, data analytics can begin to prove the case for making more wide-reaching cultural changes. It can be difficult for managers to persuade stakeholders that it is essential to do things differently, but data insight conveyed through clear data visualisation can help show the importance of change with undeniable impact.

With the right knowledge and expertise, data analytics can be an influential tool, able to help managers bring about vital innovation as well as respond rapidly to changing circumstances and achieve top-level management buy-in.

Helping to achieve fundamental business objectives

All organisations have their own set of business objectives, but many may not be leveraging their data to help them achieve these goals. However an organisation uses data, it should work for the benefit of precise and clear purposes, tailored to the company and its objectives.

SMART strategy created by business advisor, Bernard Marr, was developed for this reason2.
This step-by-step approach includes defining an existing strategy, measuring metrics and data, applying analytics, reporting results and finally transforming a business. Methodologies like this can facilitate the integration of data-led strategic thinking into an organisation’s business plan, empowering it to move towards future growth.

As Marr notes there already numerous examples of businesses doing this. For example,  machinery manufacturer John Deere, are pioneers in ‘precision farming’ through their use of data from sensors and smart technology to pin-point the best agricultural methods to maximise harvest yield3.

Data as a strategic resource

As companies are increasingly realising the capacity data has to revolutionise business strategy and the value of professionals able to interpret it, its importance is set to grow exponentially.

Recognising data as a dynamic source of strategic wealth is an important element of the 100% Online MBA with Data Analytics course at Nottingham Trent University. This course seeks to develop managers capable of taking their businesses to new heights through the power of big data. Each specialised data module offers a different perspective on realising business development, such as the Deriving Business Value through Data Science module, which aims to empower students to propel strategic changes built on big data insight.

To find out more about how the Online MBA with Data Analytics can help you embark on a data-led career, visit our website

References:
1Information Age (2017) 5 ways to improve a data strategy [online] Available at: http://www.information-age.com/5-ways-improve-data-strategy-123465211/ [Accessed 15.03.2018]

2Roa, M. (2016) From smart data to rich insights: 5 tips on aligning Big Data with your business compass [online] Available at: https://yourstory.com/2016/05/tips-big-data-business/ [Accessed 15.03.2018]

3Gilliam, C. (2013) DuPont, with Deere & Co, to roll out precision farming program [online] Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-farming-data/dupont-with-deere-co-to-roll-out-precision-farming-program-idUSBRE9A709920131108 [Accessed 15.03.2018]