The Future of Business Analytics by Sameer Dhanrajani

July 13, 2015

Data-rich, Information-poor and Insight starved. This is how keynote speaker Sameer Dhanrajani describes organisations today. Indeed, in the age of Big Data, this is a powerful paradox to kick start a Business Analytics conference attended by the who’s who of the Analytics world in India.

Data alone is useless unless it helps you address real-time business issues. Is Analytics helping customers solve their problem? Can I bring about strategic change in my business using Analytics? The answer is YES! The increasing adoption of Business Analytics by not only CXO’s but also by heads of business and process owners is testament to the transformative power of Analytics.

Analytics has been highlighted as a key strategic technology trend in 2015, according to a Gartner report, Oct 2014. This is the first time that three of the top 10 IT trends are from the world of Analytics. These include 1) Advanced, Pervasive, and Invisible Analytics; 2) Context-rich systems; and 3) Smart Machines.

Big Data is a household name, but not many are aware of Data Economy. Most of you will recall that in 2013-14, Big Data was all the rage. Tom Davenport predicted that the era of Big Data was passing and coined the term Data Economy. Data Economy is a stage where analytics will start becoming a strategic asset for an organisation. Advanced, pervasive and embedded analytics using smart machines and context rich systems would enable real-time decision making. We are moving from IT-led business intelligence to a stage where personalisation, smart machines and B2C transactions will drive the embracement of analytics.

The capabilities of Analytics will define what processes will be part of an organisation, and not the other way round. These capabilities straddle the entire value chain for businesses, but are especially relevant for Banking, Insurance, healthcare, and Entertainment domains.

According to a Gartner Report (Oct, 2014), 73% of respondents have either adopted or are on the path of adopting analytics as part of their organisation. This trend is set to continue. Analytics will become more relevant in helping organisations address key business initiatives, delivering impact across the business continuum, thereby accelerating value creation.

The same report identifies Marketing, Operations, Sales, Customer service and R&D as the key areas where customers are already investing heavily in building their internal capability for advanced analytics.

The other key trend in Analytics is the adoption of open source platforms like R. R is versatile, can be customised as required and is free of cost, which accounts for its rising popularity over proprietary software like SAS.

In conclusion, there is a significant shift in how we leverage data to meet our objectives. Exciting new Analytics technologies are emerging—and in some cases, converging—to help organisations drive innovation and make smarter decisions with insights based on more than just structured, static data.

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By Sameer Dhanrajani