With the increasing complexity of business, there is no shortage of questions like which product families are yielding lower margins? Which suppliers are most likely to disrupt our production? What is the competitive landscape on sales incentives for specific products? How can we predict and manage the levers that drive sales? When used effectively, advanced business analytics can not only significantly improve operations and margins but also spur growth. Traditional reporting could show how many customers you have won or lost but not necessarily why. Advanced analytics give numbers that can visualize to measure internal and external performance.

Research published by McKinsey & Company highlights how manufacturing based industries are utilizing analytics to increase yields and reduce costs. The areas benefitting significantly were demand & production by 46%, understanding plant performance across multiple metrics by 45% and providing service and support to customers faster by 39%.

The exploding economic growth of our industries has necessitated the need for fast and accurate information solutions for businesses to outperform their competition. That said, business analytics isn’t new. Industries like financial services, e-commerce, and technology have been using advanced analytics for some time to improve strategic and real-time decision making.

Advanced analytics is helping organizations better analyse their customers, predict the competitive landscape and discover the emerging trends before they go mainstream all of which helps companies maintain a competitive edge. The movement towards a data-driven culture has even become a competitive differentiator for some enterprises based on how well they are able to gain insights from the analytics and take actions.

Products are at the core of any manufacturing business, the initial wave of analytics can target improving product development. Other common focus areas include optimizing the supply chain, managing sales and marketing spend, reducing warranty spend and improving overall financial management.

The results have been incredibly lucrative for those that succeed. For perspective, GE reports having six-times return on its investment in the big data over the course of a year. Seeing the immense value data can deliver, companies across industries have seen data science become one of the most valued skills to be acquired by the enterprise. It’s not only about GE, it is now leapfrogging to other industries by applying analytics to a wide range of business areas: from Manufacturing and supply chain to sales, marketing and product development.

Basically, analytics is about helping you make good business decisions. Just giving reports with numbers doesn’t help. It must provide information in a way that best suits our decision-maker.

In order to conquer miscellaneous enterprise challenges, a person must conceive all that he can extract from the data. Acute interpretation of data can blast out an immense amount of unknown information about your business that can make your decision-making process a lot easier. Eventually, we will see smart data-driven decisions targeting and disentangling the complexity which marks most businesses today.

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