Business Intelligence & Analytics

Backward looking, forward looking – Gaining Full Perspective

The explosion of available structured and particularly unstructured data coupled with commodity based hardware and initially the Hadoop framework have over recent years offered unparalleled opportunities to collect data and drive insight that can be used to drive business growth, better customer service delivery, optimisation of asset usage and many other use cases.

Use cases range from commercial analytics to health, education, sports analytics, policing, roads management and many more besides.

Analytics usage and value

The use cases for BI & Analytics and therefore requirements vary from traditional BI & Visualisation solutions that look backwards to what has happened and still have a major role to play in all business verticals through to Predictive Analytics and Prescriptive Analytics.

Prescriptive Analytics is the ultimate goal for many who are working in Artificial Intelligence and takes the output from Machine Learning and Deep Learning but adds another level to initiate a proactive decision without human intervention. Prescriptive Analytics will be incorporated into a host of applications in the future including automated stock market transactions, power generation control and medical diagnosis and treatment.

The vision and scope for usage should be based on the likely benefits and the business priorities and can often be deployed initially as POC’s/Pilots to demonstrate value and drive buy in from the business. 

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Analytics Solutions & Architectures

There are a very large range of technical solutions in the analytics market space which offer many different capabilities that can work very much on a standalone basis for data mining, visualisation or as part of an integrated solution for predictive analytics with R for instance. The right solution should be based on your business use case and real need.

In recent years with the increasing adoption of Cloud solutions in the market, there has been a major focus on platforms that have been designed for BI, Big Data and Advanced Analytics from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Google and AWS which are able to offer a very wide ranging solution set for users that range from internal business users needing traditional BI solutions through to data scientists requiring Advanced Analytics solutions for predictive and prescriptive analytics and specialised functional architectures for use cases such as asset management and healthcare.

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The benefits of analytics are potentially vast but should be viewed with careful consideration of the overall use case portfolio, security and regulation (data ownership and usage, privacy, IP etc), need for careful management of “noise” within data and assessing data quality, skills availability for future development & operating models that are needed to meet future business demand.

Defining an initial strategy can help ensure that you are starting on a well planned journey to a level of maturity based on benefit to the business rather than sales and marketing spin.

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What Next?

If you’ve got some ideas for developing your BI or Analytics capability or would like some independent help in defining the strategy, contact Cornerstone today.