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5 ways your business can make use of data and analytics

In recent years, more and more businesses have been focused on deriving value from the enormous amounts of data that they collect. The way that data is used varies between businesses, from simple graphs to show sales volumes to complex AI features in modern healthcare organisations. Thankfully, as Business Intelligence (BI) software has decreased in cost, whilst becoming more advanced, businesses in all industries and of all sizes can now make use of data and analytics to transform the way they work and grow. In this article, we will discuss 5 ways your business can use data and analytics.

Discover Actionable Insights and Correlations

All businesses have a massive amount of data collected from different sources. Whilst this data has all the insights a business needs to become more successful, unless it is aggregated, transformed, remodelled, and analysed, it holds no true value. A BI solution will do all this, then visualise the data so it is simple to understand. This help businesses discover insights, and more importantly the correlation between actions and outcomes. Some solutions, such as Microsoft Power BI, also use AI to allow users to ask questions in plain English, and Power BI will process the data to deliver an answer, along with simple data visualisation.

Make Data-Driven Strategic Decisions

After a business has used a BI solution to discover insights and correlations, the next goal is to use these insights to make data-driven strategic decisions. A comprehensive BI solution will have predictive analytics functionality that allows users to create a machine learning model that will predict the future outcomes of a business. These predictive models can be the basis for decision making, with the functionality to view how changes will affect future outcomes. Another reason why BI is so powerful is the fact that predictive analytics will only become more accurate over time as there is more data to process.

Visualise Complex Data

Most people find it easier to comprehend data in images rather than raw numbers in a table. For example, when viewing two sets of sales figures over a year, it is easy to understand if the sales have increased or decreased, but it can be hard to tell which set is growing faster month on month. However, a simple bar graph makes it easier to derive these insights. With Power BI, there are countless ways that data can be visualised, and as it is an interactive dashboard, users can change the visualisation to suit them. This may include viewing the data at a high level to view trends or drilling down to granular details.

Prepare Department Reports

Most businesses have some form of monthly or quarterly reporting that is shared with managers, executives, and other stakeholders. The process of creating these reports can be time-consuming, especially if it requires manually sorting through data to create graphs and tables. With a BI solution, these graphs and tables can be created once, and then the data can be automatically refreshed when it needs to be used in a report.

Similarly, individual employees or departments may benefit from having a custom dashboard with key statistics displayed at all times. This may include call volumes, sales numbers, time to answer calls, or application uptime. With a solution such as Power BI, dashboards can be quickly and easily created for any use case, with the data being updated as regularly as required.

Make Use of Real-Time Insights

Whilst some data only needs to be periodically updated as required, other data is more valuable if it is constantly refreshed in real-time. This may include data from sensors, such as temperature, or digital analytics, such as social media data, or application uptime. Some BI solutions have real-time functionality, where a dashboard can be created that streams live data whilst creating visualisations. With these insights being displayed in real-time, businesses can make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, without having to manually sort data, or refresh any datasets.

How To Get Started

Starting to make use of data is something that will benefit every business that decides to invest in it. Whilst BI solutions, such as Power BI, are designed to be easy to use, many businesses partner with a trusted IT provider to assist in creating dashboards and connecting disparate data sources. If your business is looking to implement a BI solution, contact us today.

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