Not Using Big Data and Predictive Analytics? You Should Be

Big data can make a big difference for your business. Industry research shows that there are compelling reasons to implement big data analytics, including the ability to cut costs without jeopardizing growth or your relationships with your customers. Big data has been widely touted for years in business and technology circles – because it works.

Big data analytics – the examination of massive quantities of data to uncover patterns and trends – brings speed and efficiency to your ability to make both short- and long-term decisions. Interpret big data correctly – and use the resulting information well – and you can give your company a competitive edge. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. You can use the past to predict the future
    Access to the right data allows you to review historical information and see the trends that indicate where your company is going. Real-time financial data is a tool that can provide valuable insight.
  2. Better data allows you to make better decisions
    Data-driven decisions – rather than gut feelings – should be the foundation of your strategy, especially in key areas such as finance and operations. Once you’ve identified the questions, you can find the data that gives you the answers.
  3. It can reduce the chance that you’ll be left behind
    Your competitors are certainly using big data and predictive analytics to drive better decision making. If you’re not, you’re at a competitive disadvantage.
  4. Your finance team can be more responsive
    Access to a wealth of relevant information allows your finance team to be more agile in making decisions and responding to rapid changes in your industry. Big data can lead to more timely decisions and more accurate forecasts.

Different industries, different uses

Whether you’re manufacturing a product, operating a franchise, or running a nonprofit organization, big data can help you answer some important questions.

The evolution in how we collect and interpret data has changed the way things operate, from supply chains to workforce management and beyond. This leads to increased efficiency and reduced risk, along with improved customer service. Predictive analytics offer insight into supply and demand, allow more accurate forecasting, provide logistics visibility, and help you optimize your talent pool.

Getting big data right

To get the most out of big data and the insights it provides, you need to invest the time, resources, and staff to get it right. Taking these steps can help.

  1. Choose your data leader
    To develop a strong data analytics strategy, you need a champion for your efforts. This should be someone with the seniority, influence and authority to break down barriers and inspire the right people to action.
  2. Define your strategy
    Any important initiative needs a clear strategy, and data analytics is no exception. Take the time to understand goals, responsibilities, and available resources.
  3. Choose your technology
    The ability to aggregate, manipulate, and analyze large quantities of data requires the right technology platform. Establish a process to choose the best big data tools for your company’s needs.
  4. Identify your experts
    Finding the right people to manage your big data strategy is key to its success. Your data experts should combine technical knowledge with business smarts and strong communication skills.
  5. Keep your approach agile
    Many companies enter the big data arena by starting small. You may want to identify a specific problem and find a way to solve it – then build on your success as you gain a greater understanding of the data. It’s often more effective to start small and think big than to begin with a huge project.

The combination of an increasing availability of data, the rapid growth of new enterprise technology, and a shift toward making information-based decisions means that now is the right time to begin using big data and predictive analytics to your company’s advantage. At MicroAccounting we are committed to your success and would love the opportunity to talk with you about our robust ERP software solutions and how they can support your big data needs.