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D is for Data

by Mic Johnson

The term data is something that is thrown around a lot in today’s society. There are phone data, big data, personal data, internet data, data science, and databases. Then there are the secondary terms like machine learning, algorithms, analytics, predictive services among others. The fact of the matter is that with the rise of the internet, there is a massive rise in data of all kinds. Personal data, while a very hot topic in terms of privacy, is only part of the equation. As a company, you need to fuse that personal data, with the background data critical to your business.  You need to have a partner that can provide your business world-class data analytics services. You simply cannot afford to let a goldmine worth of information, go unmined or unused. Some data is used simply to make better process choices, other data might be used to find a cure for cancer. The key, is in the compilation and analysis, of all areas.

What kinds of data analytics services can be useful in today’s environment? The answer is all of them. There are four main types of data analytics; descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. Let’s use an example of a retail business. First you would use descriptive analytics to find which product or departments are performing well/underperforming. You look at your metrics that include sales, customer engagement, web traffic, etc. You then use diagnostic analytics to further solve the problem of why a certain product isn’t selling. Data will tell you why a department isn’t hitting target numbers efficiently.  Descriptive tells the what, the diagnostic tells the why.

But What Comes Next?

Keeping with a retail business example, now we move into predictive analytics. Let’s say you want to analyze the last five years of quarterly sales by department. This will help understand staffing and stock needs. You can then break down by day of the week, or month of the year. Next, you would use machine learning and AI to analyze the trends in your data. This will provide a blueprint on how to intelligently staff and stock your shelves on any given day. Lastly, we have prescriptive analytics. This is really the fusion of predictive analytics and action. Staying with the last example, you now have a good idea of what will sell, and when. Prescriptive analytics will be what drives automatic employee scheduling, or inventory management. Predictive will give you an idea of what will happen, prescriptive is the process of making things happen. So, you can predict which month will sell the most bananas. Then use prescriptive analytics to automatically order more bananas for that month. You could also use it to schedule more employees to work that month.

The applications and uses for proper data analytics are endless. You should look to partner with an organization that can provide the latest technology, AI and data science techniques. There are firms out there like Intellias, that are on the cutting edge. The best can provide the most comprehensive data analytics. If you want to improve your customer experience, analyze your data. To help make sound process decisions and look to predict the future, you need to analyze your data. Let a team of professionals show you how to revolutionize the way you do business.

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