Analytics Are a Proven Solution for Your Big Data Headache

    December 2, 2016

    By Tony  MacDonald

    Your rate of data accumulation can be overwhelming, but the right analytics platform can leverage all this information to understand a company’s performance history, predict future trends, and recommend adjustments.

    The speed of data accumulation — the rate at which the total amount of data the average organization, device, or process uses is increased — is soaring rapidly. By 2020, the universe of data will expand from 4.4 zettabytes to roughly 44 zettabytes, meaning that for every human on earth, 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created per second. There is obviously a lot of potential value in that increasingly dense mass of data, but the question remains: how do we begin to extract it?

    The answer is smart investment in advanced analytics software. With the right analytics package, companies can capture and utilize their data to diagnose their past performance, predict future trends, and prescribe business and IT adjustments. Trends indicate that businesses are well aware of the increasingly important role of analytics: IDC predicts worldwide analytics spending to increase from $58.6 billion in 2015 to $101.9 billion in 2019.

    But while these trends are certainly positive ones for those with big hopes for big data, IT administrators should remember that some analytics platforms can provide broader functionality than others. Before directing IT spend towards advanced analytics, make sure that you know your company’s needs and expectations with regard to what an analytics platform should provide.

    Getting the Most Out of Analytics

    In a recent TechTarget article, Joel Shore discusses the various applications of big data analytics. He writes, “Data-driven cloud analytics as a service (AaaS) is often divided into four types, spanning a value spectrum that moves from hindsight to foresight.”

    Hindsight-focused analytics consist of descriptive and diagnostic tools that tell you how your company has performed and explains the factors behind that performance. These hindsight functions remain the most common application of analytics, and all companies can benefit from their use.

    That being said, it is foresight-focused analytics that will ultimately do the most to boost a company’s performance. These functions — predicting future trends and prescribing relevant actions — remain underutilized, with fewer than 1% of companies using predictive analytics as of February 2016. This should change sooner than later: IDC predicts that half of all business analytics software will include prescriptive functionality by 2020.

    Analytics for Everyone

    Just as data is only helpful when it is structured and analyzed, analytics cannot be fully utilized unless they are converted into a easily readable format. Your company’s analytics platform should be accessible for all departments, not just IT.

    According to a recent Claranet survey, only 28% of European IT departments believe that they fully understand the needs of the business, and only 26% think that the business has a full understanding of their IT work. Since analytics should be understood by all departments, IT administrators need to bridge this knowledge gap.

    As data continues to accumulate, don’t let your company lose track of valuable information. The right analytics platform can help you understand past issues and optimize future performance.

    Category: data-management