Business didn’t used to be so complicated. Back in the old days, it was good enough for companies to make decisions like Goldilocks – testing things until they seem just right. If a certain aspect of your operations was off, proactively manipulating the process would gradually improve it enough to be competitive. This time-intensive process, however, won’t cut it in today’s economy.
Data now drives the world’s largest, most successful organizations. Massive sets of information can be run through algorithms and other analytics tools in order to determine optimal action plans. It’s clear that companies that fail to adopt data will be at a strategic disadvantage.
Still, it’s understandable why individuals might be timid about delving into this subject. Here are five questions about data analytics you were too afraid to ask.
What Is Data Analytics?
You’ve heard the term thrown around at meetings and in conversation; but you might not have a clear definition of data analytics. Essentially, data analytics is the name given to methods of using gathered information in order to improve key business operations. A lot of people think data usually revolves around customer information and behaviors. This is true, but it is not the whole picture. It can also help you improve product development, marketing, hiring and more.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of data analytics can be extremely variable. The cost will depend of a few factors: scale, technique, and technology.
The scale of data analytics will affect the overall expenditure, especially if companies are using traditional forms of business intelligence. Old-school BI revolves around dedicated data teams working to solve and verify problems based on data sets. This can be extremely costly, as it takes a long time for humans to complete this kind of work. It will also take more work if a business wants to do more analysis—and thus require more investment.
Technique and technology can both cut down these costs—especially for larger organizations that need to a lot of data-driven analytics. There are some newer software options on the market now that can greatly improve productivity in relation to price and hiring costs (more on this below).
What Are the Software Options?
Business analytics software isn’t a totally new development. Companies have been trying to perfect this for years now. And it’s clear that data insights are necessary for competing in the new business world.
Relational search is one of the most exciting new software solutions. Essentially, this works like a search engine for analytics. Users can input their search terms and immediately receive synthesized analysis based on pre-existing data. This cuts down on time and expenses, which allows companies to move more quickly when making important decisions.
Do I Need to Hire Specialists?
The size of your data team will be dependent on your approach and your needs. Software is also great for businesses because it lowers the need for huge teams of data scientists. That’s because end users can pull answers to their queries from the analytics platform rather than rely on a data team. Data specialists, however, are given more time to focus on higher order data projects.
Most laypeople can figure out how to use many kinds of modern data analytics software. You will probably still need a few people to be in charge of the system; but the need for human capital is lower now than in the past. Data analytics tools are now being designed with less specialized users in mind.
It’s a good idea to clear up any outstanding questions you might have about data analytics. Just because you don’t fully understand it doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Most experts will agree that data will continue to play a vital role in shaping the world of business.