Embracing the Potential of Advanced Analytical Tools

The most successful businesses know how they can harness the power of advanced analytics tools. Whether used in conjunction with self-serve business intelligence or to build predictive models, these powerful analytics solutions can help companies discover trends and patterns, solve problems, accurately predict the future, and drive change using fact-based information. But the analytics solution you choose depends on how much complexity and data your organization is dealing with, as well as what kinds of business questions you need answered.

Compared with basic analytics, which typically works well with structured data and smaller datasets, advanced analytics can work with both structured and unstructured information and is more appropriate for organisations that have diverse data sources and complex analytical questions. It also has features like dashboards, drag and drop reporting and graphic elements to help business users understand the results of their analyses. It’s important to remember, however, that although advanced analytics offers a number of benefits, it does require a higher level of expertise and skills than basic analytics.

In addition, it’s important to understand that just because a predictive model makes predictions doesn’t necessarily mean that the predictions will directly feed into decision-making. Some of the most successful predictive models take a more indirect route to inform their decisions. This can reduce the likelihood of false positives, and improve the speed with which new insights become strategic actions.

The survey results indicate that, while leadership alignment on the importance of deploying advanced analytic tools is crucial to supporting widespread adoption, focusing too much attention on tactical prioritization at the level of specific uses cases can actually inhibit broad analytic implementation (Exhibit 4). Companies can make more progress if they adopt a test-and learn approach. A team will develop a predictive model to answer a high-value question and then evaluate its performance before moving on to the next use case.

Energy Efficiency

Embracing the Potential of Advanced Analytical ToolsBy analyzing energy usage data from smart meters and other sensors, digital platforms equipped with advanced analytics can help organizations significantly reduce their energy consumption and associated costs. Energy-saving solutions, for example, can provide insight into when equipment and machinery are likely to break down. This allows organizations to schedule maintenance to minimize downtime. They can monitor energy prices, allowing for them to take advantage and optimize their purchasing strategies. Additionally, real-time monitoring enables energy-saving initiatives to be constantly monitored and proactively managed, while visual reports on energy usage simplify data interpretation for stakeholders and facilitate effective communication with them. These capabilities can deliver significant operational and monetary benefits to organizations of all sizes.