Data analytics transforms business
Analytics increases business agility and responsiveness, and helps maximise the efficiency of business operations, says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting.
Today, every interaction with customers is recorded and collected by businesses and stored for future use. More and more, companies are trying to find ways to translate these interactions into actionable insights, or data analytics.
Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting, says harnessing the power of these analytics can drastically improve the operational performance of a company, drive mass customisation, enable better targeting of customers through promotions, and drive new ways of doing business. "Harnessing this data, however, is not as easy as it might seem. Too few businesses understand the potential of data analytics, and therefore the positive impact analytics could have on the business."
He says there are several ways analytics can transform the business. "When harnessed properly, data, and the capabilities that go hand-in-hand with data, can give an organisation a real competitive edge. There can be no doubt that companies which are effectively utilising data analytics to help steer their decision-making in the right direction are more productive and profitable. Specifically, companies whose very nature is suited to using data analytics, such as banking, telecoms, healthcare, manufacturing and retail."
He says data analytics can boost revenue by harnessing new information to create new products or services, which in turn can attract and retain more customers. "Analytics also hugely increases business agility and responsiveness, and helps maximise the efficiency of business operations."
He says what can be a competitive edge today is often a 'cannot do without' tomorrow. "There are several key areas to consider for using data analytics. Firstly, to optimise operations. Data analytics can vastly better operational performance, as well as lower both cost and risk."
Naidoo cites moving all ERP and supply chain data onto a single platform, which would enable better collaboration between manufacturers and suppliers. "This would lower costs, reduce the risk of potentially expensive mistakes, as well as lessen time to market."
In addition, data analytics in real-time allows businesses to customise products and tailor promotional offers far faster. The spending and shopping patterns of customers can be monitored, not only in-store, but via social media, online stores and mobile. "This allows a business to predict a customer's likely behaviour, almost instantly, and tailor special offers and discounts specifically to that customer."
In terms of decision-making, any business that can quickly process and analyse vast quantities of information has the ability to look at different potential scenarios around operational decisions, marketing and similar. "By tracking shop traffic and ordering patterns, a retailer can gain insight into the effect of special offers, training initiatives and new items."
Naidoo predicts that within the next few years, data analytics will be synonymous with any successful enterprise.