According to Gartner, analytics has until lately been a "poor cousin" of the business IT family. Companies tended to put their IT development resources into improving their supply chains and other processes. But now that most firms have done those things, they no longer offer a competitive advantage. Analytics has become the new field of growth. Says Gartner, adopt analytics or perish.
The sluggish past growth in adoption of analytics and business intelligence (BI) solutions has had several causes. Other paths of IT progress, such as such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), were easily grasped by the C-suite, and offered rapid, measurable improvements. Analytics were more complicated, and their results harder to measure.
But those straightforward operational solutions have now been so widely adopted in the enterprise world that they no longer offer much competitive advantage.
And as Spandas Lui noted at ZDNet, analytics is now taking front and center as a leading-edge business tool. Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Bill Hostmann put it bluntly: "Organisations that do not move analytics into the central part of both their IT strategy and business strategy are not going to meet their business objectives or even survive in the new world of realities we are facing."
Even when firms make use of analytics, the scope still tends to be limited. It is (relatively) straightforward for a company to use structured data such as customer account records to look for simple patterns. Incorporating unstructured data such as social media messages can paint a fuller picture of customers, but the process is more complicated.
Analytics solutions have become more powerful and flexible, but firms are not sure how to use them. Vendors, concentrating on sales, are not always helpful.
At GRT Corporation we bring 17 years of experience to our mission of helping firms use technology effectively to meet their business needs. Let us work with you to cut through the vendor hype, and show you what analytics can do for your business.