Data can rehabilitate a war-torn country to economic supremacy. Sounds impossible? Well, W. Edwards Deming achieved that feat and much more with data analytics.
After the World War II, Japan was reduced to rubble with hardly any hope for the future. W. Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician, and management consultant led its economic rehabilitation throughout the period of the 1960s to 1980s with data as the centerpiece.
Deming strongly believed in the philosophy that data measurement and analysis were essential to attaining superior performance in every facet of a business. This philosophy holds true even today when businesses are trying to reimagine their productivity, profitability, and competency through data analytics.
Deming once famously quoted, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” If oil was the fuel that propelled the Third Industrial revolution, data is the new fuel that will run the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We are already seeing a massive penetration of machines that think on their feet and empower executives to make quicker decisions. At the core of these machines and their ability to provide accurate predictions is real-time streaming analytics.
The benefits that real-time streaming analytics provide are immeasurable. There are few definite benefits that no enterprise can turn a blind eye towards. Here are five of them:
- Real-time KPI Visualization
- Enhanced Market Competency
- Accurate Customer Profiling
- Proactive Business Process Management
- Demand Sensing from Data
- Real-time KPI Visualization
C-level executives are experiencing a never before felt need to be agile in their decision-making. With the inclusion of many sales channels and the vast amounts of data that they create, decision-making has become more sophisticated and data-driven. Enterprises need to monitor their KPI (Key Performance Indicators) on a real-time basis to know the truth about business performance and its immediate state of affairs.
KPI visualization based on data collected from real-time streaming analytics can help identify functional areas that need immediate improvement, new opportunities that can be leveraged and risks that need to be mitigated.
Enhanced Market Competency
As a result of real-time KPI visualization, the decisions taken are more successful and cost-effective. This would help the business strengthen its market position and drive more growth. Also, the top level leaders can rely on the data to have a bird’s eye view of business growth and a ground-level view of operational processes.
To cite an example, live data of flight booking can help hotels in near vicinity to plan and market bookings with optimal pricing that will increase their occupancy rates. The analysis of real-time data leads to revenue-generating actions.
Further, the trends spotted can be compared with industry benchmarks to optimize costs, timelines, and deliverables. The success stories achieved through such real-time streaming analytics can be used to create white papers, case studies, and other internal collaterals that will foster a culture of innovation. This would help the enterprise retain an organization-wide competitive edge.
Accurate Customer Profiling
The customers of today have dynamically changing spending habits. Their spending habits are inspired not only by prices but also by several other factors. Real-time streaming analytics helps an enterprise place of the finger on the factors that triggered customers to make a purchase.
This helps in accurate customer profiling and targeted pricing of products. Also, the data helps in creating tailor-made up-selling and cross-selling bundles that will increase sales.
Proactive Business Process Management
Business processes need to change with time to keep up with competition and to meet changing customer preferences. Real-time streaming analytics will help the business know the why what and how behind each customer action. Based on such intelligence, it is possible to optimize the business process for better efficiency.
For example, a lengthy procurement process with repetitive steps that is slowing down order fulfillment.
Another allied benefit of real-time streaming analytics is that it helps the business to spot trends and prepare for contingencies. Think, planning alternate routes for the supply chain in the event of a road closure. Real-time streaming analytics enables the business to be more proactive in uncertain situations than react to it after the event has taken place. This can prove to be a huge relief in situations where even a minute of downtime can bring the business to a grinding halt.
Demand Sensing from Data
Otto, the German retailer uses a predictive analytics software that runs throughout its product life-cycle. The software helps the retailer to forecast ten weeks in advance what customers would weeks ahead with 90 percent probability. The revolutionary software also won Otto the German Innovation Award for 2014. Otto made it possible by distilling more than 100 variable data points; including mall footfall, weather, holiday season, price, among many others. The same model can be replicated by any business to push their profit margins to a new high.
Today, almost every business has the data for demand forecasting. Even if they do not have the in-house capability, there are Artificial Intelligence and real-time streaming analytics platform offerings that can provide the necessary support. The demand signals that such systems provide can help the business to plan its procurement, supply chain and delivery mechanisms with clockwork precision.
Every modern enterprise needs to bank on its data to conclude where its business is heading. If such data can be gathered on a real-time basis and analyzed by powerful computing systems, it can give powerful insights.