One of the overarching trends that has been present in virtually all IT transformations throughout the past few years has been the increasing inclusiveness of novel solutions and tools. Whereas only about 15 years ago smaller firms would never be able to afford or manage the most advanced technologies available on the market, this is simply no longer the case thanks to the vast impacts of cloud computing and modern service delivery.
Now, these types of evolutions are beginning to apply to business analytics, which a wealth of small business owners have already started to use for their own unique goals and objectives without breaking the bank or straining internal resources. With self service data preparation and other highly intuitive and powerful solutions available today, it is likely that advanced intelligence strategies will be in place among the majority of all companies before long.
Implications for entrepreneurs
Small Business Computing recently listed some of the ways in which modern analytics tools – specifically those that can provide real-time and predictive insights – can positively impact the average entrepreneurial firm. Again, while big data would not have been a very feasible investment for many smaller firms about five years ago, this is a reality today, and entrepreneurs need to understand the value of these tools as soon as possible.
According to the news provider, the financial advantages of these technologies are vast, allowing small business owners to much more accurately make provisioning and stock decisions that will reduce waste and drive profitability from both ends. Considering how much data is now available related to consumer demands, corporate purchasing behaviors and the like, the sky is the limit for analysis of that information to more quickly and proactively track changes in various markets.
The source went on to affirm that predictive analytics can be highly advantageous for many firms, but that leaders need to ensure that they are investing for the right reasons. Aligning the deployment with specific objectives from both short- and long-term perspectives is one reliable method of ensuring that returns will be seen, as a lack of guiding reasons can quickly hinder the positive impacts that ought to accompany analytics tools.
"Data preparation is critically important to analytics success."
Do not forget data prep
One of the lesser spoken about aspects of modern analytics that is critically important to the overall performance of the technologies therein is data preparation. When firms do not focus on preparing data properly, they will be far less likely to see direct and positive outcomes from their pursuits in analytics, as information quality is one of the key components of business intelligence.
Luckily, all types of businesses can leverage tools that streamline the process of getting data preparation right in an affordable and intuitive fashion, which will then yield higher ROI for the analytics investments themselves. Before competitors begin to progress through the use of modern analytics, entrepreneurs need to get on board with the technology.