With analytics and big data being so heavily hyped today, it is ironic the majority of business analysts often lack access to data and tools they need.
But things are changing with the next generation of analytics software coming to market. A recent study by The Economist, “Big Data and the Democratisation of Decisions,” shows the severity of the big data analytics problem and which departments need the most support: customer service, human resources, marketing, strategy and business development. The following is an infographic based on the study’s key findings. To be clear, all companies mentioned in this post are not and never have been clients of mine or companies I have worked for.
Unleashing Greater Insight in the Enterprise
The real analytics payoff in the enterprise begins when business analysts can achieve customer and market insights faster than their competitors. In the consumer packaged goods industry, every week counts in a new product launch and product lifecycle. In healthcare, lag times in customer service lead to patients seeking more responsive treatment alternatives. The net result in each is lost revenue.
Analytics applications and platforms are increasingly being designed for self-service and the needs of business analysts first. Instead of having to rely on IT for analytics, big data and advanced statistical analysis support, business analysts need to be able to complete projects on their own. Analytics applications are advancing quickly on this self-service dimension, making it possible for business analysts to get complex projects done in a fraction of the time it would have taken IT to staff and complete them.
Alliances and partnerships between analytics software providers are focused on getting business analysts the tools they need so they don’t have to rely on IT so much to get their work done. The recent partnership announced between Alteryx and Revolution Analytics puts R-based predictive analytics directly in the hands business analysts is a case in point.
What’s noteworthy about this partnership above all others is the option it gives enterprises to integrate big data and other 3rd party sources into a common system of engagement. Business analysts can then use tools to design analytics and reporting workflows that align and stay in step with line-of-business needs over time.
Once an application or workflow is complete, business analysts can publish and distribute their analytics applications enterprise-wide. The Alteryx Analytics Gallery (shown to the right) gives customers the opportunity to share their analytics applications with each other. The gallery is helping business analysts learn from each other, serving as a catalyst for broader analytic consumption.
This is the same model ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) has been so successful with in the area of IT Service Management. I attended Knowledge13 earlier this year and found their customer base to be one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever met. What ServiceNow has done IT Service Management, Alteryx is on its way to accomplishing in analytics.
Why All This Matters For Customers
Getting analytics applications and tools in the hands of business analysts significantly improves the customer experience and reduce errors at the same time. At Kaiser Permanente, business analysts focus on cost saving projects that improve customer service.
Kaiser has a continual stream of customer interactions across multiple channels going on daily. Supported by legacy IT systems, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to keep the entire system working, the healthcare provider was seeing patient satisfaction levels drop as they didn’t have a clear view of their customers. The legacy and manual systems also made coordinating customer service teams very difficult and replicating analytics tools very difficult.
Kaiser Permanente was able to aggregate and cleanse the myriad of data sources they rely on and gain greater insights into their customer’s needs. Creating analytics and reporting workflows that business analysts and lean leaders in their Service Organization use to stay on top of customer needs has led to a five-fold increase in customer service performance according to Greg Hall, Senior Service Optimization Leader.