Business reporting is a standard module in any business application where some have multiple reports custom built to meet customer needs, some have a standard report which comes as part of the standard industry solutions, and some have SQL queries, to dump data into a CSV or TXT format, which gets ported into an excel for further analysis and reporting. This can be called the first wave of analytics.
Fast forward a few years, and we have visualization/dashboard tools, which take this raw data and convert it into visual indicator with the added capability to filter, dice and slice data to understand certain trends, and further create summary statistics in static format for circulation. This can be called the second wave of analytics, which is still a predominant phenomenon among companies.
This wave got faster and better with drag and drop capabilities, visual data preparation, data governance, and self-service BI, where the business user with no or limited knowledge was able to work on data and get what he/she wanted in just a few clicks.
The question to ask now is, is it good enough?
We all are consumers at the end of the day; when we move out of our cubicle or corner offices, we are exposed to another wave of analytics or user experience like Facebook telling us you became friend with so and so ‘x’ years back, your iPhones letting you know that it is time to leave for your meeting as there is traffic en route and it would take 18 minutes to reach your venue, or your Fitbits and wearables screaming to make a quick 15 minutes brisk walk to meet your steps/move goals. What we experience on the consumer side of our world is actionable insight where every one of these alerts/push notifications triggers an action.
The Facebook reminders make the trigger a messenger chat with your long-lost friend, your iPhone message makes you look professional by arriving for your meeting on time, and Fitbit haptic alerts make you plan your walk/run so that you can keep up with your new year resolution.
If as consumers we enjoy this and even brag about it, why not have the same capabilities within our work life using our enterprise data. We call this the third wave of analytics with a tag name ‘Actionable Insights’.
Some of the sample actionable insights by function and industry are:
- In fashion and retail, when a new line is launched by your close competition or inspiration or when a new line is launched within your stores in case of multi-store operations.
- In the supply chain, when a new item is received in the warehouse receiving bay for the first time or when an item is received, knowing where and how to place them within the warehouse based on real-time stock movement, which is more dynamic than the traditional put-away operation using pre-defined logic.
- In sales function, knowing the next best step to take on a lead/opportunity based on what has been the collective prospecting process and conversion ratio of the team historically.
- In recruitment, understanding the fill rate and on-boarding rate of candidates based on candidate demographics, location, and job offers made.
- In transportation, predicting and taking proactive action when delivery windows get missed due to route management and traffic congestion or providing proactive information to the warehouse about the vehicle arrival, in case there are repeated cases of long dwell time or unloading time.
There are many more such cases which we can imagine and implement to support the underlying business objective.
This wave is set to deliver greater business value as compared to the previous two waves, as it is near real-time and heavily automated with minimum or no human intervention. Given today’s technological advancements and the surge of on-demand computing power, executing these models are no great challenge, for the right kind of partners/vendor who understands the three critical success factors - business, data, and technology.
Our focus as an organization is about bringing this service to the mid-market through a subscription model. We have conceived a path of progress for clients who are already saturated in the second wave as well as for those who are stuck in the first wave and are actively considering getting into the visualization game. Our engagement models can quickly get them onto the visualization game through industry starter packs as well as catapult them into the actionable insights space in a short span.
Talk to us to know more and how we can make actionable insights drive your business decisions.