Business data is probably the most valuable and important tool for any business. It’s used for reporting, forecasting, hiring, firing, development, growth and a multiplex of other functions. In fact, a business without data is well, not very useful. A sitting duck in the murky and ultra-competitive business waters.
There is no doubt that usable, functional data is the foundation of any business these days but with all the new and upcoming data practices, figuring out which sets or practices to use can be an intimidating task. This is known as Business Intelligence.
Business Intelligence starts with the collection and collation of data that is then used to spur on business processes, reporting, purporting, goals and targets. All of these factors are then considered and generally, a strategy will be formulated in order to drive the business forward. From the strategy sales targets, efficiency models and many other follow on processes are determined in order to follow the strategy that should lead to achieving the business objectives.
Seeing as we are focusing solely on the data aspect of BI for this post there are 3 forms we will focus on:
Analytics – Some business relates Analytics and BI as synonyms although we see them as question and answers tools. BI lets you get to the answers but analytics helps you ask the right questions. Analytics provides the gateway to compare data and data streams which then ties into the BI for your strategies. We believe analytics to be the question and answers phase that leads you to be able to make the decisions that BI requires.
Big Data – This refers to the almost limitless amount of data available in the cloud. This is fantastic to a point. Often the data that you will source or use is not necessarily in the format that you’ll require. Big data requires a large amount of “scrubbing” in order for it to a) fit into your database without corrupting your other files and b) be set in a retrievable and usable fashion. It’s all fair and well having access to all this data but another to be able to mould and custom it to suit your needs.
Data Mining – This is the process of “finding answers to questions you didn’t know about.” Asking questions that you didn’t think needed answers to. It ties in with analytics to a certain degree but it is one of the building blocks that are needed for good analytics. Some companies have even started hiring data scientists that are constantly on the look-out for data that might be pertinent to that business. There have been instances where biological processes have provided data that is relevant to share market predictions for example. With data mining, models can be generated and used on completely polar subjects but still generate useful insights.
Correlating and storing vast amounts of data and using data is now a prerequisite of any business not only for growth and development but also simply for efficiency and cost saving.
Data processes should be and are one of the most fundamental processes to consider before starting out or even for existing business and it we see it as only becoming more vast and efficient as time goes on. It is a capability that every business should and will have to use in the future.
We would love to hear what kinds of data your business stores and uses and how intricate your data mining is, you can contact us here or on any of our various social platforms.