Who among us hasn’t seen a drastic influx in the amount of business data related to our little corner of the world? At most mid-size and enterprise-level companies, there are obligations — if not requirements — to store that information. Are we also taking strides to make that data more searchable and discoverable?
The fact is, analytics is a process. It can be short (bordering on instantaneous) or drawn out, but it involves converting raw data into usable insight, and then using that insight to fuel game-changing decisions. On that road to performance, there are several steps, and it all starts with the accessibility and usability of data.
In Aberdeen Group’s recent report, Explore It, Don’t Just Store It: The Value of Searchable Data, the research highlighted companies that had taken that first step, but were also executing in other key areas of the analytical process, including:
- Better sharing and collaboration. The ability to create top-notch insight can be improved by bringing to bear wisdom and experience from multiple areas of the organization. Companies with a significant increase in searchable data were almost three times more likely to share data and knowledge across business functions.
- Broader analytical exposure. Beyond simply connecting data between functional areas of the company, another critical step is building deeper analytical activity and a data-driven culture within these different areas of the company. The research shows that companies with growth in searchable data also enjoyed a greater degree of analytical pervasiveness in key functional areas like sales, finance, and marketing.
- Technology diversity. The rapid expansion and evolution of analytical capabilities has allowed organizations to connect the right tools with the right user types. Those with a strong increase in searchable data are more likely to use some of the old mainstay business intelligence (BI) technologies like managed reporting and strategic dashboards, but also some of the more sophisticated tools like predictive analytics and interactive data visualization.
This aforementioned process, starting with a broader foundation of searchable and discoverable information, ultimately leads to significant and repeatable performance benefits, as seen here:
Identifying and Executing on Business Opportunities
Aberdeen’s research consistently demonstrates a connection and a correlation between effective analytical activity and business performance. Simply put, companies that have their act together when it comes to BI and analytics are rewarded with tangible improvements. Starting with a wealth of searchable data that can be used for exploration and discovery of business insights is a critical step in the analytical process. It is not the only important step in this process, but it is a foundational one.
Companies that have a propensity to expand this foundation of data are also more likely to make efforts at other stages of this analytical value chain, and produce more viable insights. These data-driven insights empower these organizations to identify, act, and execute, ultimately delivering real business results.