Reinvent your business with big data analytics

Edward Curry, research leader at Insight NUI Galway and vice president at Big Data Value Association, tells us how he expects big data analytics to transform business operations across all industry sectors

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 20 January 2017
Reinvent your business with big data analytics

This article first appeared in the Winter issue of The Record.

Why are more businesses turning to data analytics?
Big data analytics is transforming industries as they become digitised and its impact is extending beyond the commercial world. Although ‘digital native’ IT players were first to adopt data analytics, the European Commission predicts that 75% of the value added by the digital economy will come from traditional industries that are increasingly using the technology to optimise operations and create new products. Big data is here so organisations must adopt it to become, or remain, competitive.

How is data analytics transforming the employee and customer experience?
Organisations are using big data to gain greater insights into customer needs so they can deliver a digital experience that anticipates and meets their current and future expectations, driving sales and loyalty. Meanwhile, big data helps organisations identify employees’ strengths so they can place them in roles that maximise their potential, provide targeted training, support, or assemble teams.

What challenges do enterprises face when adopting data analytics technologies?
Every business can exploit their data to deliver value across their operations, but most don’t know how to. The two biggest challenges are developing a business model that offers a new data-driven take on an old industry – think Airbnb or Uber – and acquiring employees with the skills and knowledge to deliver this vision. Currently there’s a shortage of individual data scientists who have the technical knowledge and business expertise to successfully apply big data in organisations. Consequently, organisations need to establish these skill sets across their teams.

What are the best practices for successful big data strategies?
First, senior executives need to develop a clearly articulated business vision with goals and milestones. Next, they must simplify the process for discovering and accessing corporate data, and then put this data at the heart of all decision making processes. They should start with critical business decisions and expand to include everyday actions. Senior management should spearhead this data-driven culture to demonstrate the practical relevance of data analytics for all areas of the organisation. It can be effective to appoint an executive analytics champion.

How will data analytics adoption evolve in 2017?
Big data analytics adoption will continue to rise as organisations start to integrate analytics programmes into their formal business strategies. As more organisations develop these capabilities, early adopters will lose their competitive advantage, levelling the playing field. Organisations with strong analytics advantages will need to keep innovating to maintain their analytics advantage over their competitors in the year ahead.

 


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