The real strategic advantage of business analytics

As more companies get their feet wet with business analytics and a more robust understanding of the technology becomes common, these tools are ushering in a new era of operational performance, efficiency and productivity. Stronger insights and more timely delivery of intelligence helps to improve the decision-making process in stride, thus yielding a more comprehensively consistent and preferable ebb and flow of processes over time. 

Data preparation and other components of analytics that take place in the beginning appear to be rising on the priority lists of executive leadership across industries, which is only helping to further bolster the positive impacts of intelligence software. However, there is one advantage to a well-crafted and perfectly executed analytics strategy that has not been touched upon that often, but is beginning to gain steam in terms of motivating businesses to put a greater effort into the programs. 

The sustainable edge
CIO Insight recently reported that the effective use of predictive analytics can actually work to strengthen the agility of a given organization, which is critically important in the modern era. As so many advocacy groups, government officials and others have proclaimed in the years following the recession, only the fastest and most agile companies will be able to survive and thrive in the rapidly evolving markets virtually every industry sees today. 

Although there are a wealth of considerations involved in this particular conversation, as people, process and technology all need to work in concert and be flexible to achieve maximum agility, intelligence tools are certainly propelling the endeavors forward. According to the news provider, the use of these tools to comprehensively strengthen operations is yielding this agility, as lean and productive processes will tend to win out in this regard.

Agility is critical for all businesses, and analytics can help maximize operational flexibility.Agility is critical for all businesses, and analytics can help maximize operational flexibility.

"We are entering a new era that introduces opportunities to gain broader and deeper insights than ever before," Ernst and Young Principal Leader for Information Management Scott Schlesinger told CIO Insight. "Organizations can use predictive analytics to increase operational efficiency, become more competitive, improve profitability and run an organization better from end to end." 

At the end of the day, virtually every organization – regardless of size or industry – can benefit from the agility-based advantages of a sound predictive analytics program, but work must be done on the frontend to ensure investments come back with solid returns. 

"Smaller sets of valuable, well-prepared data come back with high returns."

First things first
When analytics first hit the market, few companies understood the important and best practices of data preparation, simply pouring as much information into these programs as possible. Since, it has become clear that smaller sets of valuable and properly prepared data will come back with better returns than massive quantities of partially irrelevant information. 

As such, if companies do want to gain this agile advantage of predictive analytics, they must first iron out the front-end aspects of the strategies such as through the acquisition of data prep services and other forms of support from reliable vendors.