Do You Have a Data Strategy?

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Most companies have access to a wealth of data, but not everyone is using it to its full capacity. Even if you know your data is powerful and already turn to it for insights, not having a comprehensive data strategy means you are missing out on many benefits this information could provide.

In most cases, a complete data strategy needs to pull from two areas: business intelligence and business analytics. To help you determine if your plan needs a revamp, or if you need a guide to creating your initial data strategy, here’s what you need to know.

Business Intelligence

Many enterprises have invested, at least somewhat, in business intelligence (BI). While some use the term BI interchangeably with analytics, there is often a distinction regarding how the data is used.

BI generally focuses on reporting based on available information. Typically, it is seen as a look back into what has happened and doesn’t necessarily provide any mechanism for guiding future actions based on specific scenarios.

While BI isn’t predictive in nature, it still provides a substantial amount of value. It allows companies to determine whether a particular business approach was effective or how specific events impacted certain metrics. BI creates a level of visibility into past activities and is a valuable solution for understanding the data associated with particular actions. It also serves as a foundation for the second part of a comprehensive strategy: business analytics.

Business Analytics

At its core, business analytics refers to technology-based solutions designed to solve problems and provide guidance regarding how future actions may impact key business areas, like sales. It gives you the ability to anticipate outcomes based on previously noted data patterns and specific known variables.

Often, business analytics is seen as more revenue and innovation driving as opposed to BI, as it provides guidance regarding which action may be wise to pursue. In some cases, machine learning and artificial intelligence are at the heart of these systems, but usually only at the furthest end of the analytics spectrum.

Comprehensive Data Strategy

To craft a complete data strategy, you need to find solutions for both BI and business analytics. In some cases, this can be done with a single solution, as BI providers have begun to blur the lines between their traditional offerings and what business analytics can do. However, it can also be the case where two solutions, ideally compatible ones, are required to gain the most value.

By bringing both forms into your workplace, you have the ability to get a clearer picture of past events, as well as a peek into the potential future. As more companies embrace advanced analytics, those who fail to adopt the technology may soon find themselves struggling, so including it in your data strategy is crucial at this point.

If you would like to learn more about creating a comprehensive data strategy or the solutions that can support your goals, the knowledgeable professionals at Solving IT can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today.