Tell us how organisations are achieving productivity gains through Business Intelligence. How are Data Analytics and productivity connected?
First of all, we implement BI solutions that completely automate all reporting and data transformation, which means there’s no more manual processing. And when you think about how much time businesses generally spend trying to glean insights from spreadsheets, finding patterns by manually connecting into various separate data sources and then having to distil and communicate these insights to the business – this automation is a massive time saving in itself. So people have more time to spend on the core aspects of their jobs. And then there’s the fact that the data becomes more meaningful and easier to understand, so it becomes much quicker and easier to identify trends and insights.
It’s important to note that when we work with a client to implement their Data Analytics solution, it’s not just a matter of working with them on the technical solution. We spend just as much time working with them on the business side, making sure business strategies and KPIs are front of mind, and that the business intelligence we help them gather is directly connected to these strategies and KPIs. This also helps with organisational productivity, because when people are focused on the key things they need to achieve it helps to decrease noise and brings clarity of focus.
It also helps that as part of any Data Analytics solution we always implement a central information portal where – in a total of three clicks – people can find the latest data and information, linked to company objectives, and see how they’re tracking against targets. This is really powerful, and it’s the beginning of the shift in company culture we see in the companies we work with. Once they see what data can do, and know they have easy access to it, it’s the start of an exciting journey, where all of a sudden with real-time information it’s possible to spend a lot more time looking at and planning for the road ahead, rather than on analysing the past with data that’s already out of date.
And what about digital transformation – how does Business Intelligence help organisations transform?
BI is all about throwing the spotlight on business processes. So as soon as we start finding and measuring the data and analysing the business we can immediately identify inefficiencies in the business that have occurred over time, and we then work with the business to improve these, helping to make things work more efficiently and productively.
Increasingly – over and above reporting on business as usual – we’re helping our clients to harness their organisation’s data for not just insight but foresight. This is about providing them with new and innovative ways of looking at data and finding new revenue opportunities. Of course, a big part of business intelligence is identifying areas for cost savings, but when it comes to providing the tools to help businesses transform, we focus on new revenue opportunities and new ways of looking at their data because it helps move the business into the future.
This could involve designing a more efficient marketing campaign to a new audience that hasn’t previously been considered, or perhaps marketing a particular product to an audience that hadn’t seemed viable before, but you’ve now proven that it is with new data insights and campaign results. Or it could be forecasting future demand for a particular product line or service, allowing the business to be better prepared to respond to and make the most of any number of business opportunities.
Thinking about the organisations we work with, can you give us an example of an organisation doing exciting things and really transforming their business through an innovative use of their data?
Absolutely. JUCY Rentals is using its Data Analytics platform (comprised of Microsoft Windows Azure, SQL Server, Office 365 and Power BI technologies) to do some really transformational work.
A fast-growing New Zealand success story, with branches across New Zealand, Australia and the US, JUCY has developed a fantastic and loyal customer support base and a very strong brand in the vehicle rental market. Having experienced exponential growth, it needed systems and business insights that would allow the organisation to catch up with its own growth – and to pave the way for future growth to come.
JUCY identified that they needed a data insights system that would help them identify opportunities and inefficiencies quickly and proactively. They decided to improve and automate their head office and branch data analytics. Information would be surfaced through dashboard views, helping the CEO and CFO to view and plan the business, from anywhere and on any device, with the ability to view company performance as a whole or by country.
We worked with JUCY to deliver a self-service business intelligence environment and a series of executive dashboards that allowed the business to track business performance and important KPIs, be proactive in assigning valuable resources and achieve greater business efficiency through data insights. Jucy now has a solid BI platform that integrates sales, finance, customer and vehicle management information into an enterprise-grade, single source of truth. And that’s all within a year of implementing the solution; it’s just the beginning of their Data Analytics journey – and they have plenty more plans! (You can read the full case study here)
This blog entry is part of the series Less Busyness, More Business, featuring blog posts from leaders across Intergen. Each blog will focus on the digital transformation themes raised in our digital transformation guide and delve deeper into what digital transformation means for New Zealand organisations in specific technology areas.
Posted by: Anna Tarasoff, Data Insights Manager, Data Insights | 20 May 2016
Tags: Digital Transformation, Less Busyness More Business
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