Utilising the benefits of data analytics to optimise your workforce

December 31, 2018

Data analytics is transforming many parts of a business, with both small and large companies finding the benefits of implementing analytical systems into their organisation.

Skills shortages and the challenges for businesses using data analytics

Recent research suggests that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every single data and businesses form a large portion of this figure. If companies have the capabilities to utilise this data to its best potential, it can significantly improve operational procedures and ultimately provide clear benefits to overall business performance. What is now quite clear is, data analytics is a core part of a business and a vital factor for success. In fact, investment in data analytics solutions in the UK is forecast to reach £25 billion by 2020. Whilst data analytics isn’t necessarily a new area for businesses, there are many companies that lack the knowledge of how to implement the system and how to use it appropriately. In previous times, a company would hire a dedicated analyst and data professional, but today it is more complex. To really utilise the benefits and optimise a workforce, businesses require analytics to be completely ingrained into the business.

 

Improving quality with analytics

As customer demands continue to evolve, producing a high-quality customer service is becoming ever more challenging. Within analytics, business intelligence and the performance of contact centres are closely related. The capability to utilise analytics for quality management within an entire business, creating improvements to operational procedures creates a competitive edge as well as improving engagement and overall performance. Analytics can help businesses to automatically measure customer engagement and receive predictive analytics to control potential challenging situations. In turn, this helps a business manage handle times, reduce call volumes and even predict problems before they arise.

 

Managing the potential of your agents

Analytics can support enhanced delivery of automation to manage simple processes, freeing up time for employees to focus more time engaging with their customers and requirements. The enables users to develop their own skills and focus their time on more precious interactions. This generally results in improved productivity and enhancement in customer satisfaction. On top of this, managers will have more insight into performance and trend indicators, information that identifies specific issues and skills gaps. This vital information can support training plans, highlight performance strengths or weaknesses and support managers in developing a targeted roadmap for further success.

Simplify business processes

Analytics can ensure managers are capable of discovering specific insights that enable all processes and performance metrics are connected to key objectives in real time. Businesses can successfully manage and avoid challenges that tend to occur for many businesses, such as understaffing issues and producing lengthy reports. Managers can utilise this information to select the most relevant and experienced staff to manage staffing challenges and automatically assigning work patterns based on other relevant data.

Whilst an organised office system is a necessity for most businesses, operations continue to face challenges. According to reports, standard office operations can result in productivity levels of around 50-60%. Analytics software, however, can improve overall productivity by 10 to 25%. Data analytics can manage business issues, generating real time information on operations and showing specific inefficiencies within a business. Data analytics does more than just maintain customer requirements. The insights generated from analytics enable companies to understand they are making the most out of their data to generate the best customer experience but also to improve future talent and maximise overall productivity. In the years to come, analytics will be an essential tool to support organisations in creating the best workforce, to retain employees and improve overall business performance.

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Oracle – cloud and future data management systems

December 31, 2018

After the recent Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, the business has progressed with its new Exadata project.

Oracle OpenWorld Event

The Exadata project intends to make it considerably simpler for enterprises to handle data without requiring the need to manage dozens of servers, varied networks and a range of storage options.

The ultimate goal of the project is to provide Oracle customers with a singular stack that is capable of delivering the highly effective results. David Sivick, the technology initiatives manager at Wells Fargo and speaker at Oracle OpenWorld explains that the bank is now utilising 70 racks of Oracle’s Exadata. Prior to implementing these systems, Well Fargo required thousands of Dell servers to produce the same results.

Sivick explains that the new system has resulted in savings exceeding millions of dollars every year.

He explains that Wells Fargo has seen significant improvements in overall waiting times, a reduction in space required for compression and a general increase in application speeds. The main objective was to consolidate overall processes, the business was attempting to manage a range of varying systems, with different databases and memory systems.

Whilst Exadata can sometimes take longer to implement and operate, it does enable larger businesses to avoid managing multiple platforms and situations of handling technology upgrades over numerous systems. Wells Fargo now operates over 90% of its databases on Exadata, leaving the remaining systems in their existing form purely for strategic decisions or because they are due to be removed.

At this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, the conference focused a lot on the cloud credentials of the business and their vision of how the cloud would manage existing operational challenges. The cloud based strategy of Oracle is focused mainly on the provision of important business applications. At the conference, Oracle states that larger businesses are now using its Exadata products to improve speed and enhance the use of data services and reduce overall reliance on traditional systems.

Larry Ellison, the chairman of board and chief technology officer at Oracle highlighted the competitive edge of the business against Amazon Web Services, referring to Exadata-based projects and data warehousing.

Oracle intends to place itself as a leader in the transformation of cloud technology, an area that is likely to be vital in future ERP applications. The business is also very aware of the challenge facing larger businesses like Wells Fargo that require a complex migration of multiple systems into a streamlined integrated network.

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What are the top priorities for Analytics and BI technology in 2019?

December 31, 2018

Recent findings from the TDWI Best Practices report, BI and Analytics in the Age of AI and Big Data suggest that over 80% of enterprises are focusing significantly on analytics and BI as a major part of their budget for new technology and cloud-based systems. The report also suggests that over 50% of businesses believe AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing are vital areas for future investment plans. Further findings also reveal that just over 40% of businesses are looking at improving user experience by automating the process of data insights.

The study emphasises that businesses are placing a strong emphasis on developing their current systems and replacing old technology and data platforms and replacing with innovative cloud-based BI and predictive analytics. Transforming Data with Intelligence (TDWI) is a global network of professionals within AI, analytics, data science and machine learning interested in progressing their development within the industry.

The TDWI report displays the top priorities for businesses based on investment levels for implementing new technologies and cloud-based systems.

SOURCE: TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, BI AND ANALYTICS IN THE AGE OF AI AND BIG DATA. PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

The graph indicates that data warehouse and BI platforms are two of the main types of technology businesses are intending to use in 2019. What the study really highlights is that cloud based platforms are becoming the norm for businesses implementing new analytics and BI strategies. Cloud data storage facilities and data virtualisation are two other technologies that businesses indicate are of top priority when considering investment plans in analytics and BI strategies.

SOURCE: TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, BI AND ANALYTICS IN THE AGE OF AI AND BIG DATA. PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

 

According to the report creating a high level of query performance, managing visualisations and having the ability to personalise dashboards and reports are key factors for delivering positive user experience. The report explains that predictive analytics and forecasting tools, ‘what if’ analysis and data searching on a report has resulted in the lowest level of satisfaction.

 

Over 80% of businesses are exploring their analytics and BI platforms to expand their insights and intelligence options. According to the report, Cloud based platforms, new analytics and cloud based data lakes are the top systems businesses intend to develop or use to replace current BI and analytics systems.

SOURCE: TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, BI AND ANALYTICS IN THE AGE OF AI AND BIG DATA. PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

 

Systems. Aside from analytics and BI, a large proportions of businesses intend to develop and acquire Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) platforms to enable a fully customised approach. Over 40% of businesses in the report plan to develop and purchase AI and ML tools, a figure that stands higher than other surveys related to AI integration. Over 10% of businesses plans to develop their own specific AI and ML systems.

SOURCE: TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, BI AND ANALYTICS IN THE AGE OF AI AND BIG DATA. PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

 

Systems. The ability of Machine Learning to apply algorithms to large data sets and deliver insights is the main priority for most businesses. Over 50% of companies in the survey suggested this was a top factor. A further 47% of businesses believe AI and Machine Learning will improve the accuracy and overall quality of the information. An additional 40% of businesses view AI and Machine Learning systems as vital to support decision making by providing recommendations.

SOURCE: TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, BI AND ANALYTICS IN THE AGE OF AI AND BIG DATA. PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

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Maximising your business potential with real time data analytics

December 11, 2018

Real-time data analytics provides the potential to transform how professionals businesses operate.

Maximising your business potential with real time data analytics

Rather than manually collaborating information based on past events, professional groups can use real-time analytics to generate insights on what is happening exactly now. Real-time decision making is critical for managing resources, controlling profit margins, projects and most importantly improving customer experience.

Codex Recruitment provides key ways that real-time data analytics can help support professional services significantly improve their business performance.

 

Effectively using your resources

Businesses continue to find it challenging to allocate the right people to the right projects at the best time. Before the rise of real-time analytics, handling resources was a manual process resulting in frequent errors. Businesses would depend on an end of month report to identify the overall performance of their resources, where they may have been underperforming, where additional capital was spent, or in areas where their targets were exceeded. Real-time analytics enables businesses to have a better grasp of utilising resources. At any specific moment, a company can measure the effectiveness of a resource and determine what changes to need to be made to improve the overall process, before they result in costly impacts on business performance.

 

Maximising profits with analytics

Real-time analytics can enhance the potential profits of a business by improving two important operating procedures. This includes a clear understanding of hourly bill rates and overall billable utilisation, which refers to the hours billed divided against available hours. In a real-time scenario, a business can view how many hours have been billed on a specific project and if necessary, intervene if a specific project has lower billing projections. This minimises problems developing and further impacts on overall profit margins. Being capable of making changes in real time within a project lifetime is critical, rather than waiting until a project is done.

 

Proven and accurate forecasting

Real-time analytics enables professionals to operate and manage their business with higher confidence and predictable information. In previous years, forecasting lacked accuracy and generally involved manual processes. Real-time analytics removes the traditional, lengthy spreadsheets. Managers can quickly view areas such as services pipeline and project backlog, what has been invoiced and what needs to be paid. Analytic tools like this can create better decision making, improved forecasts and better results for a business.

 

Accurate details on supply and demand

The provision of real-time information means businesses can understand what resources are available for projects. Real-time analytics accurate provides the demands of clients and then determines where resources can be used to meet the demand. Businesses can have a clearer understanding of their resource pool and how to effectively manage this resourcing moving forward. In previous years, this level of detail was not available, meaning many companies relied on manual processes to manage supply and demand.

 

Controlling your value leakage

There always comes a time when a business will offer a service or product at a lower than intended rate. Too much discounting, however, can result in further pressure on service organisations and cause a strain on a business. Real-time analytics enables a company to keep a close check on levels of discounting in a company and the ability to create parameters to completely control value leakage. Decision makers can then manage the level of value leakage and make informed decisions on whether changes are required.

 

In today’s business world, companies simply don’t have the time to manually measure financial patterns or assess the impacts of business decisions. Real-time analytics is critical in supporting businesses in eliminating costly mistakes, encouraging growth and further development.

 

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Skills shortages and the challenges for businesses using data analytics

December 11, 2018

According to recent survey findings from Infosys, creating innovative business models to enhance revenue and overall profits should be considered the main priorities for data analytics.

The report highlights the importance and benefits of data analytics.

Skills shortages and the challenges for businesses using data analytics

Many businesses are not implementing new technology to improve customer experience and control potential risks and inevitably progressive technology is a critical part for businesses to digitally transform.

The challenge, however, stands with the potential skills shortage facing certain industries, especially in the technology arena, which industry experts believe is holding back the true potential of data analytics. The Infosys survey analyses the expectations of businesses, the possibilities and challenges, the opportunities and how the rise of new technology will change the analytics market.

 

What are the opportunities and challenges facing data analytics?

Data analytics can operate across an entire business providing multiple benefits to overall business performance. The report suggests that Finance and Accounting tend to use analytics the most in business, followed by Marketing and Operations.

In regards to new technology, artificial intelligence is considered to be a focus area that created increased output when integrated with analytics. IoT and cloud technologies are other emerging technologies that provide similar opportunities.

Whilst there are numerous opportunities, the report also suggested certain challenges that face businesses across every industry that can hinder the implementation of analytics and associated tools to the maximum. One of the main challenges relates to the inadequate knowledge in combining multiple datasets and the lack of expertise in implementing the correct analysis techniques. Businesses are continuing to seek support from data technology partners to enhance their capabilities through specific analytics strategies, developing operational procedures and clearly defining a strategy to deliver and manage analytic procedures.

Satish H.C. the EVP and Head of Data Analytics at Infosys explains the data offers endless opportunities but having a strong understanding of data is critical if a business is wanting to truly implement a digital transformation.  Satish emphasises the importance of utilising the potential of data tools, referring to certain challenges such as businesses operating with systems that are incapable of sharing information, data integration problems and limited available resources and skills, Satish believes the Infosys report will support clients in their digital journey towards improving their data knowledge, enhancing their analytical potential and crucially monetising their own data.

Key points of the Infosys Report

Over 30% of respondents suggested that analytics had resulted in enhanced results for this business. This includes implementing intelligence created by improved collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders to generate a unique, personal and effective customer service.

28% of survey respondents showed interest in implementing analytics to manage risk in business. Respondents believe that predicting risk and detecting any potential errors that may affect business efficiency supports the overall decision-making process.

Creating new business models by focusing on the genuine needs of customers and providing a range of innovative services was considered the main requirements within data analytics.

A second priority for analytics was enhancing revenue and profit through a focus on improving business channels, processes and stakeholder systems.

Over 30% of respondents from the UK and Europe supported the idea of using analytics for overall experience enhancement. A similar number of respondents from Australia and New Zealand consider risk mitigation as a top priority for analytics.

UK Data Analytic Scene

Over a thousand senior technology and business members were interviewed for the Infosys report. Nearly 2 hundred of the executives were located in the UK. British respondents suggested three main areas of success stemming from data analytics. This includes; experience enhancement, risk management and creating new business models.

UK based respondents highlighted how certain business functions have utilised data analytics, pointing towards an increased integration within the Telecom, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Life Sciences industries.

Respondents highlighted certain challenges facing UK-based businesses including the integration of a range of datasets and ensuring data is ‘healthy’ and reliable were the most noteworthy. UK respondents explained that determining the right analytics tools and more importantly, the right people, with the skillets and experience as the most effective methods of controlling these challenges.

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