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Companies are implementing business strategies with some key objectives in mind: cost reduction, improvements in efficiency, and enhanced profitability.
Business intelligence can add huge value in these areas, which is why professionals in business intelligence and data analysis are in great demand. In a 2017 IBM report, the demand for data scientists in the United States was expected to increase to 28 percent by 2020. Now here we are.
Business intelligence involves the analysis of past and current data in order to provide practical insights for informed decision-making. The data can be diverse depending on needs. For example, it can include sales that result over a specific length of time, client behavior, or operating costs. Data analytics also often involve prescriptive analysis and predictive modeling.
These and other methods are merged by experienced professionals with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. Subsequently, organizations are finding trends in unstructured as well as structured data, which enables them to gather valuable insights that could offer a strategic advantage in the future.
Filling the Gaps
As part of an overall business strategy, companies that invest in business intelligence can expect a range of advantages, including lower costs, policy insights, and greater efficiency. However, according to a report by Bain & Company, only 4 percent of these companies use the correct mix of resources (persons, tools, and data).
Essentially, business intelligence practitioners use data analytics to look for patterns and trends in different data types. For example, they may take metadata (or data that reveals information about other kinds of data) and use it to find or determine how certain data has been filtered, queried, or analyzed. They can then convert their research results into data that enhances executive-level decision-making.
But without the right tools, data, and talent, business intelligence may remain unattainable.
Today, organizations need talented experts to understand this information in order to promote data-driven business methodologies. According to a Forrester survey, 52 percent of data analytics organizational leaders are looking to recruit specialists with advanced data skills.
The same Bain & Company report mentioned earlier also points to AI as the precursor to a new paradigm in the business intelligence area in order to fill the gaps in today’s instruments. Professionals in business intelligence and data analysis can work with larger datasets when including AI and gain insights much faster.
While the adoption of AI is high in digitized sectors — with telecommunications and major tech firms leading the way — the lack of basic knowledge when it comes to business intelligence via advanced analytics is yet another massive gap. As to how business intelligence is related to data analytics, a clear distinction is not always properly delineated, as it is closely intertwined in the approach to a business strategy.
Using advanced data analytics to define a business strategy is not necessarily a crystal ball, but with the right technology, business intelligence, responsible data retention, and data analytics, professionals can anticipate where improvements can be made and formulate solutions to generate value.
Talent plays a key role in filling these gaps. Empowering business executives with specialized skills in decision-making data analysis, prescriptive analytics, and predictive analytics to prepare them for executive positions in this growing field is necessary.
In addition, by using modern business intelligence tools and moving to a more data-centric environment, companies can access more data than they could have before. With all this data comes great responsibility, which is why companies likewise need to invest in the necessary resources to keep any customer data they gather protected.
Storing data in the cloud, investing in malware software, updating systems regularly, and securing business networks with virtual private networks that come with effective encryption protocols are all examples of measures that will keep gathered metadata safe.
Why Analysis is Key in Decision-Making
In the career market, it is important to be able to encapsulate, visualize, and manage data using software tools and techniques. Executive teams want to make informed choices when trying to reduce risk and identify opportunities to give their organizations a boost.
While CEOs today typically adapt to most new trends that offer competitive business benefits, they depend heavily on business intelligence and data analytics experts to evaluate and analyze data in order to make the right decisions.
What is Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics?
When it comes to improved decision-making within the global digital marketplace, the strategic use of data, quantitative and statistical assessments, predictive and explanatory models, and factual management are key.
Usually, the directive to employ prescriptive analytics is issued by the Chief Information Officer or another member of the executive team. Business intelligence managers then use well-known disciplines, such as statistics and operational research, along with new and exciting methodologies, such as digital dashboards, data mining, and online analytical processing to meet the executive requirements.
Predictive analytics can provide managers with insights to develop progressive plans. Business intelligence professionals can discover and apply connections within datasets from different sources, such as spreadsheets and databases, through predictive analytics.
An example is how data on consumer purchasing trends from a tablet can be combined with the related data from a sales tool. They can then develop quantitative business models and use software tools to analyze them and reveal new insights. The interpretation of the data can then help predict future events.
Of course, this can also potentially be used for more disingenuous purposes. An example is how metadata from users (such as addresses and dates of birth) is often collected by internet service providers, analyzed, and then sold to third parties, forcing people to have the necessary security measures in place just to keep their data safe as they browse online.
Making a Difference
Machine learning engineers and business intelligence managers can assist business intelligence specialists in a multitude of different ways. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which includes business intelligence and other positions quite similar to management analysts, anticipates employment in this sector to increase by 14 percent before 2026.
When working with big data, business intelligence specialists will use different methodologies, including database searches and reporting tools, to provide analytical knowledge and technical prowess. A master’s degree is recommended for management positions in the business intelligence field.
An MBA with a powerful data analytics component will provide proficient specialists not only with the technical command to succeed when placed in a position within data analytics or business intelligence but also with the much needed and sought after entrepreneurial dexterity to manage many projects and lead their teams while simultaneously assisting with new and innovative business strategies.